KIA’s exciting new EV6 is headed down under, and like the recently launched Sportage, the highly anticipated fully electric model is being subjected to the company’s rigorous ride and handling program. There is one small catch though.
Punters hoping to get their hands on the performance GT version of the cool EV6 will have to wait, with that particular variant not expected to land here until either the end of 2022 or early 2023.
That aside, Kia has battled the impact of COVID on its local testing program, but it’s something seen by the car maker as essential to its Australian success.
“Kia Australia’s local tuning program is an important process for our product range and once again, despite the constraints thrown our way by COVID, our local product team and Graeme Gambold, along with our colleagues in Namyang, have worked together to customise a product to best suit Australian roads and driving styles.” COO Damien Meredith said.
“The next twelve months will be even more electrifying, and please excuse the pun!” he added.
“With the imminent arrival of our first EV6 variants, Sorento Hybrid, next-generation Niro and the much talked about performance EV6 GT variant, Kia will well and truly be making its mark on the electric vehicle offering available in Australia.”
Kia Australia’s ride and handling engineer Graeme Gambold, who has localised the ride of more than 50 Kia models during the last 10 years, came away astonished by the performance of the EV6.
“I just love driving the Kia EV6, it’s a car that just wants corners. It is so engaging and so rewarding to drive. Great car. Best car Kia has ever made!” he said.
“One of the things we are always tuning for in Australia is large body movements on country roads at 100km/h and that is always manifested with a high centre of gravity roll dynamic in conventional cars,” he explained.
“Electric cars don’t have as much of that, they have a lot of vertical movement, because of the weight but they don’t have the lateral roll, so we can use that as a bit of a tuning tool.”
The EV6 is the first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) produced by Kia using the new electric-global modular platform (E-GMP) and forms the first part of the brand’s transition to the new era of electrification under the slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.
The EV6 is the first of eleven BEV models from Kia and set to arrive by 2026, with seven built on E-GMP architecture and four derivative EVs based on existing models.
Local interest in the EV6 is unmatched, with the expressions of interest tally exceeding all previous Kia models before it. Around 500 units (in base and GT-Line trims) have been earmarked for Australia during 2022.
Kia Australia is hoping to increase numbers (with the GT allocation presently unknown), and will introduce the EV6 in long-range/high-voltage (77.4kWh) only. It will be offered in two grades; base in rear-wheel drive only and GT-Line with RWD or all-wheel drive.
Further details on local specs for the EV6 will be announced during the Australian Open in January. Kia has been a major partner of the event for the past 20 years, with the official launch of Kia’s EV6 base and GT-Line scheduled for later in quarter one.