Kia Unveils its EV6 Electric Crossover, a Serious Competitor to Tesla's Model Y
【Summary】Kia unveiled the production version of its new EV6 crossover at a live streamed media event in Times Square in New York City on Tuesday night. The EV6 is the first purely electric vehicle from South Korean automaker Kia. The launch of the new EV6 SUV is part of Kia’s ‘Plan S’ strategy that will include 11 all-new electrified models globally by 2026.
Kia unveiled the production version of its new EV6 crossover at a live streamed media event in Times Square in New York City on Tuesday night. The EV6 is the first purely electric vehicle from Kia, but other EVs will soon follow.
The launch of the new EV6 SUV is part of Kia's ‘Plan S' strategy that will include 11 all-new electrified models globally by 2026.
The EV6 is a sleek crossover, with a modern design featuring a chiseled look. The EV has the same 114.2-inch wheelbase as the Kia Telluride SUV. The overall dimensions are similar to Ford's new Mustang inspired Mach-E SUV and its ground clearance is about the same as the Tesla Model Y. The EV6 is poised to be a direct competitor to both the Mach-E and Model Y.
"The EV6 marks a new and transformative era in Kia electrification," said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia North America, Kia America. "This innovative crossover leverages the many benefits of its advanced platform to offer a level of technological excitement and convenience that will provide a superb ownership experience."
The EV6 will compete with the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mach-E and other electric crossovers.
The overall design of the EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia's global design network in Namyang, South Korea, Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, Calif, the automaker said.
The EV6 is built on the automaker's new E-GMP modular platform, which Kia parent Hyundai Motor Co revealed in Dec 2020. The E-GMP platform can accommodate different body staples such a s SUVs, crossovers and sedans.
The modular EV platform will share its core components among various models to reduce complexity, allowing Kia to more easily add new electric models to its portfolio. Kia's EV platform offers high performance from its electric powertrain, which also supports all-wheel-drive vehicles.
The EV6's will come with the world's first patented multi-charging system that supports both 400 volt and 800 volt DC charging which works on DC chargers with speeds ranging from 50kW to 350kW. With 800 volt DC fast charging from a 350-kW charger, it can add around 70 miles of range in less than 5 minutes and up to 210-miles in under 18 minutes.
The EV6 will be powered by a Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (MCM) battery that will be available in two sizes, the standard 58 kWh and 77.4 kWh battery in the First Edition. Targeted range is approximately 300 miles.
The charging port in the EV6 is concealed in the right rear.
The standard RWD model will come with a smaller 58 kWh battery paired with a 160kW electric motor powering the rear wheels. It will produce 167 horsepower. Customers can opt for the larger 77.4 kWh battery which offers 218 horsepower from the same RWD setup.
The all-wheel-drive (AWD) EV6 gets a larger 77.4 kWh battery with a dual electric motor setup that produces 313 horsepower.
The top of the line GT version will feature AWD and the larger 77.4 kWh battery with dual electric motors. The GT will come with a 160kW front motor and a 270kW rear motor that delivers 576 horsepower and an estimated zero-to-60 mph performance in less than 3.5 seconds.
Like other EVs, the battery in the EV6 is positioned low in the floor which results in a lower center of gravity for better handling.
As expected, the Kia EV6 will also come with a wide array of advanced driver assistance systems, as well as connectivity.
To commemorate the launch of the EV6, Kia is offering a special EV6 "First Edition" available by advanced reservation beginning on June 3. The First Edition is limited to just 1,500 units and will come with a dual-motor AWD setup and a larger 77.4 kWh battery pack.
Other First Edition features are an Augmented Reality (AR) Head-Up Display, Remote Smart, Parking Assist, wide sunroof, 20-inch wheels and a premium 14-speaker Meridian sound system.
The Kia EV6 has a widescreen display, a popular trend in the auto industry.
The Augmented Reality (AR) Head-Up Display (HUD) system projects graphics from the base of the windshield in a large three-dimensional image that appears to be over the hood of the vehicle. The HUD offers Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) alerts, vehicle information, lane guidance and turn-by-turn navigation instructions and is designed to keep a driver's eyes on the road.
Kia disclosed its "Plan S" strategy in Jan 2020, which is the automaker's mid-to long-term vehicle electrification plan. The automaker will be investing $25 billion (29 trillion won) in Plan S to help it advance in its transition to EVs and other mobility solutions over the next five years.
Judging from the new EV6, Kia's Plan S is off to a good start.
Kia's parent Hyundai is aiming to become one of the world's top three manufacturers of battery-powered vehicles. The company aims to sell 1 million electric vehicles each year to take a 10% share of electric vehicle sales to become a leader in the global market by 2026.
The first fully-electric Kia EV6 models are expected to go on sale in early 2022 in all 50 states, while the GT version arrives in late 2022.
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