The Kia EV6 is the primary automobile from the Korean automaker to be constructed on a devoted electrical car platform. Right here’s what I believed in regards to the EV6 and the E-GMP bones that underpin it — bones that may act as the muse of hundreds of thousands of Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis automobiles sooner or later.
A couple of weeks in the past, I attended the German Automotive of the 12 months evaluation close to Frankfurt, Germany. This was principally an occasion placed on by journalists — in cooperation with automakers — to offer writers an opportunity to drive and grade an assortment of over 40 automobiles.
I’ve already talked about the GR Yaris and Toyota Supra that I drove on the occasion. These had been epic, although it was the EV6 that I had a tough time reserving an appointment for, as Kia was giving journalists an unique alternative to drive the preproduction car. (There are few issues that make a journalist’s mouth water as a lot as an unique).
A Fast Look At The Platform
Introducing the platform was automotive design legend Luc Donckerwolke, the now-Genesis designer who had a hand in styling some well-known Lamborghinis and extra importantly the unbelievable aluminum-bodied Audi A2.
Kia’s platform is named E-GMP, and it stands for Electrical-World Modular Platform. It’s a giant deal as a result of it’s going to underpin many EV Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis automobiles transferring ahead. Kia discusses the platform’s flexibility in a press launch, saying:
EV6 alerts the U.S. launch of Kia’s ‘Plan S’ technique that may ship 11 all-new electrified fashions internationally by 2026.
The E-GMP modular platform maximizes improvement effectivity and allows the Kia model to develop its devoted EV portfolio throughout a number of car segments – sedans, CUVs, SUVs – in a short while and with minimal complexity. The structure gives an adaptable basis with a protracted wheelbase and vast stance.
It’s not at all times clear what it means when automakers say autos will share a single platform, however you possibly can count on all E-GMP autos to share frequent battery modules, frequent suspension designs/subframes/mounting factors (which implies related monitor widths), and customary drive items and energy electronics.
Suspension is a MacPherson strut setup within the entrance (proven above) and a multilink within the rear (proven under — apologies for the not-so-optimal pictures):
The massive battery pack in between comes crammed with 77.4kWh or 58kWh value of Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (in ratios of 80 %, 10 %, 10 %, respectively) pouch cells:
Battery voltage is 800V, identical to on the Porsche Taycan. Kia says this excessive voltage potential ought to allow a charging instances of solely 18 minutes from 10 % to 80 % when utilizing a 350 kW quick charger. Including 70 miles to an “empty” automobile ought to take solely 5 minutes (I’m assuming these numbers apply to the bigger 77.4 kWh pack, which Kia says ought to supply as much as 300 miles of vary). For reference, the Porsche Taycan can allegedly cost its 93.4kWh battery from 5 % to 80 % as rapidly as 22.5 minutes, and might add 62 miles to a depleted battery in beneath six minutes.
The best way the platform is about up is pretty typical when in comparison with different EVs, and in some methods, may permit for the same meeting technique (known as “decking”) as transverse-engine ICE autos. The complete powertrain/drivetrain, in addition to all related electronics (energy electronics, inverter) and equipment are bolted to the physique as a part of the entrance subframe, which accommodates the suspension. (Observe: The mannequin proven is all-wheel drive. Some EV6s will probably be rear-wheel drive).
I plan to put in writing an in-depth technical deep-dive later, so I gained’t get into an excessive amount of element right here. However the center picture above reveals a stack warmth exchanger (which I’m assuming is a refrigerant-to-antifreeze “chiller”) with a hose going to the motor, and you may see ports for cooling energy electronics. The gearbox is a parallel setup, that means the output shaft is parallel to the motor’s rotor axis (on this case, the output is behind the motor). Some automakers, like Ford, use a coaxial association (i.e. planetary gears permit the axle to be on the identical axis because the motor’s rotor).
You’ll additionally discover the high-voltage AC compressor bolted to that stack of motor/gearbox/energy electronics/inverter.
Issues are oriented a bit in a different way within the rear, because the inverter and lots of the energy electronics are situated forward of the drive unit, not on high of it. I’m assuming Kia did this to permit for a spacious cargo space with a low load flooring. As well as, the motor sits aft of the rear axle (i.e. the gearbox output is forward of the motor’s rotor axis).
The Kia EV6 is an odd trying automobile, however I believe that’s good. This is a crucial car for the Korean model, and as I don’t count on it to be low cost (Automotive and Driver predicts a $45,000 beginning value; Kia has its First Version priced at $58,500), it ought to discover a method to stand out amongst different crossovers. I believe it manages that properly, with aggressive flip sign lamps that run beneath and alongside the skin entrance edges of the hood, a strip of white daytime working lights slightly below, and twin projector-beam headlights in between.
The higher grille is skinny and includes a small digital camera at its middle, whereas the decrease opening (which options lively grille shutters to help with aerodynamics) is huge and seems to deal with the adaptive cruise management radar. The outboard “grilles” give the automobile a imply look, although they aren’t purposeful (they’re blocked off with plastic).
The aspect profile reveals a brief, bulging hood reaching again to a steeply-raked windshield, a principally flat roof, after which a spoiler on the high of a hatch that slopes all the best way to the rear gentle, which runs cross-car alongside a pointy lip. It’s virtually like a whale tail; test it out:
The taillights are simply cool, as is the large heckblende working alongside the liftgate’s sharp lip. The flip alerts move from the skin fringe of the taillamps right down to a horizontal aircraft atop the rear bumper, and what I assume is the reverse gentle consists of 5 LEDs built-in right into a grille within the decrease rear fascia.
The wheels are monumental 20-inchers, with 29-inch tires wrapped round them; that’s the identical dimension rubber as one would possibly discover in a Nineties Ford F-150 4×4!
In the event you look carefully on the passenger aspect, you possibly can see — simply between the taillamp and switch sign — a seam. That’s really the cost port door! Additionally value mentioning are the cool “wingtip”-style mirrors, and the flush door handles that current themselves when the driving force unlocks the automobile:
The inside is cool. There’s a large display on the sprint, which itself is adorned with fashionable grey and white strains that proceed on the middle console lid.
The shifter is a rotary dial with “park” at its vertex and “R, N and D” positioned simply exterior its circumference. An influence button sits barely elevated forward of the shifter, whereas a wi-fi charging pad is situated behind.
Beneath that lengthy middle console is one other “deck” of storage that might be a great spot for a handbag.
There are two 12-volt energy retailers on that decrease deck, and a USB and USB-C simply forward under the middle stack:
The black and white suede seats with white stitching are enjoyable, and I even don’t thoughts the two-spoke steering wheel (I’m usually not an enormous fan of two-spoke wheels).
The rear passenger space is roomy, and includes a fully flat flooring, as one would count on from an EV. Within the picture under, you’ll see a USB-C port on the again of every entrance seat — I noticed this on a Kia Carnival rental automobile I lately rode in, so it appears to be a factor Kia is doing. I can dig it.
Cargo area is sweet. The ground is flat because of the rear drive unit’s/energy electronics’ extra horizontal orientation:
Beneath the hood, there’s a bit extra storage in a bin, although these of you hoping for a full-size frunk will probably be disenchanted:
What It’s Like To Drive
The Kia EV6 is an EV, so sure issues like energy supply and sound are fairly much like some other EV you’ve ever pushed. I’ll be aware that, within the video towards the highest of this text, you possibly can hear a synthesized sound coming from audio system; I really didn’t discover this throughout my ~20 minutes of driving, or not less than I didn’t register it for some purpose.
The EV6’s journey high quality is a bit on the stiffer aspect, although not harsh. Energy from the 74kW (99 HP) entrance motor and 165kW (221 HP) rear motor totals 320 horsepower altogether, and although the automobile weighs round 4,500 kilos, Kia says zero to 60 mph occurs in 5.1 seconds. That’s moderately fast, although in an EV with out sound or shifts, that dash is a gradual affair and never one thing that may blow you away (a 576 horsepower Kia EV6 GT mannequin is on the horizon).
The cameras on the mirror “wing-tips” had been nice, as they supplied me a glimpse of the blind spot after I pressed the blinker stalk (see the spherical picture on the display above). Talking of visibility, the view over the quick hood was nice, and rear visibility wasn’t horrible, which is one thing that isn’t at all times a given on a contemporary automobile.
You’ll additionally discover paddle shifter behind the steering wheel; whereas usually used to vary gears on a car with an inside combustion engine, Kia selected to make use of the paddles to regulate how a lot the regenerative brakes sluggish the car down. It’s an awesome software of an element that’s already closely used within the business.
I gained’t delve too deeply into dealing with since I wasn’t at a monitor, and even when I had been, I’m not certified to evaluate issues like “steering really feel” and “chassis steadiness” intimately. I’m no race automobile driver, I’m only a dude. However I can say that the automobile did are likely to err in direction of understeer once I threw it into turns a bit extra rapidly than it wished. I don’t know what would have occurred had I powered by way of, however I wasn’t about to strive it on public roads.
Even when it’s clearly not a sports activities automobile, I had fun zipping the EV6 round these twisty streets within the countryside north of Frankfurt, although to me, what makes the automobile particular isn’t its dealing with or its energy, it’s its design. The surface is quirky and enjoyable, and the cabin is only a cool place to spend time. It’s not excessive, however it’s simply bizarre sufficient, which is essential for any crossover EV hoping to face out a bit amongst its rivals.
Replace Sept 2, 2021 1:20 A.M. ET: I modified the headline from “…The First Electrical Automotive Constructed On Kia’s ‘Revolutionary’ E-GMP Platform” to “…The First Electrical Kia Constructed On The ‘Revolutionary’ E-GMP Platform” for the reason that Hyundai Ioniq 5 additionally shares the platform.