2021 Kia EV6: new platform, sporty new Kia EV for 2021

  • First details on Kia's all-new electric car: The EV6
  • Coming to the UK in September, from £41k
  • Shares E-GMP platform with Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia's first wholly-electric design comes with the inevitable prose around a new design philosophy and brand values - already hinted at with the a new brand logo released earlier this year. There may be a set of emotional pillars behind the ideals of the new EV6, but what matters is the architecture beneath.

So, let's cut to the chase. This is the new Kia EV6 that you'll be able to buy before the end of 2021. It's a five-door, mid-sized sporty fastback that takes cues from crossovers, but isn't intended to be a tall, wallowy vehicle.

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It has the potential to face down the lesser Audi e-Tron models for performance too, at least on paper - the range is over 300 miles, and the 0-62mph time of the fastest model is 3.5 seconds, with all-wheel drive and twin motors.

Kia EV6 GT 2021 - front

The new platform which Kia and Hyundai will be using in the future, called E-GMP, is purpose-made for electric cars - unlike previous electric Kias (e-Niro and Soul EV) which are adaptations of combustion-engine models.

The upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 is also E-GMP based, but Kia has unveiled a hot performance variant straight off the bat: the EV6 GT.

EV6 powertrain and battery tech

There will be two battery capacities available: 58- and 77.4kWh.

The new EV6 uses an 800-volt electronic architecture (in common with Porsche's Taycan, but novel enough to be unusual), simply meaning that it can be charged twice as fast as a lot of other EVs currently on the road. Kia claims, for example, that around 62 miles of charge can be added in five minutes if you’re using the most potent charger available.

In addition to this, the EV6 also has the ability to act as a power bank for external items - such as your home, power tools or even e-powered bikes and scooters - just like the Ioniq 5.

Rear- and all-wheel drive versions are available, with Kia claiming the 77.4kWh rear-wheel drive model as the thriftiest, longest-range EV6. It's capable of up to 316 miles on a single charge.

2021 Kia EV6 GT rear

The top-spec GT has the long-range 77.4kWh battery and all-wheel drive as standard. The GT’s electric motors also get a power boost, with the hottest EV6 making 580hp and accelerating to 62mph in just 3.5 seconds; enough to sprint faster than the current 992-generation Porsche 911 Carrera S or Aston Martin Vantage.

Kia EV6: design and details

Kia EV6 GT side view

EV6 has a clean fascia, dominated by what Kia refer to as 'the Digital Tiger Nose' despite incorporating very little of the distinctive grille shape of existing Kias. The most obvious features are the strikingly segmented LED lights and a large, low air intake that directs airflow under the car through special channels, both for improved handling and aerodynamic efficiency.

Taut side lines and a swept-back windscreen and A-pillar emphasis the sporty intent, while masking the height and size necessary for this to be a practical family car; the rear C-pillar blends into the tailgate and draws the eye to Kia's dramatic new tail light signature, which runs the full width of the car and wraps into the rear wheel arches.

Kia EV6 GT 2021 - roof

No single design studio or country is responsible for the EV6's look, it's a collaborative piece from Korean, German and American studios, but there's a cohesive, clean feel to it that matches the design direction taken by many manufacturers when they make their first 'all-electric' platforms. Over that aerodynamically-defined shape it has quite a striking character that's distinctive and should stand out on the road.

We think it looks good, frankly. Kia won’t reveal exact dimensions yet, but expect the EV6 to be shorter than the i-Pace, if larger than its 4,635mm-long Hyundai Ioniq 5 stablemate.

Inside the Kia EV6 - technology first

One of the things electric car manufacturers are quick to tout as a benefit of the batteries is the large, flat floor and absence of exhausts and driveshafts beneath. We're shown stunning, airy concepts - and then we get cars that, for the most part, feel like the ones we already drive.

The EV6 does appear to be different. It’s modern inside, but Kia doesn’t want to overload you with technology either.

Kia EV6 GT-Line interior design and dashboard

There is a flat floor, but inevitably there's a large console separating the two halves of the car - notice, though, the large space beneath the gear selector and cup holders where smartphones can be stowed.

The instruments take full advantage of the latest display tech, for a massive, wide curved screen that looks more integrated than the 'big tablet computer plonked on the dash' so many firms have adopted. The dashboard is organically curved and sculpted to fall away from the windscreen, creating a light and airy feel. The panel of buttons beneath the screen can change functionality, giving you the option of swapping between air-con controls and navigation quick-action buttons, for example.

Kia EV6 GT full-width interior

Fans of real controls, look away now, as the heating controls are on haptic 'buttons' - touch sensitive panels. Until we see how Kia has implemented this we're reserving judgement; on the cars we have seen with this tech, such as the DS 3 Crossback, the experience is far from perfect.

Modern environmentally-friendly materials feature throughout, as you'd expect, and given Kia's track record for making solid interiors we've no doubt the EV6 will blend futurism and practicality well.

Again, like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 also has seats that recline (including the seat base) allowing you to relax if you’re busy charging.

EV6 prices and specs

The new EV6 will initially come in three trim levels: standard, GT Line and GT. For the standard and GT Line versions, you can choose from either the standard or long-range battery and either drivetrain option.

For the rear-wheel drive version, Kia says the EV6 has 230hp from a single e-motor, capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 6.2seconds, with the all-wheel drive version producing 324hp and a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds.

You can order an EV6 now, with prices starting from £40,895 for the standard EV6. The GT Line will cost you from £43,895. The hot GT, meanwhile, will set you back £58,295.

Deliveries for the standard and GT Line models are expected in October 2021, with the GT coming a year later.

Updated by Jake Groves

More details about the EV6 will be released soon, so be sure to follow the story with Parkers as the release of Kia's next electric car draws near.

Further reading

>> Best electric cars to buy in the UK
>> Best SUVs 2021
>> Best small SUVs 2021
>> Used Kias for sale

2021 Kia EV6 GT-Line - above