When Kia built the EV6, they didn’t just hit a home run, they tore the laces off the ball and sent it into the parking lot. Its striking style, versatility and driving performance have it firmly in the running for the industry’s most prestigious awards. But for 2023 the South Korean brand is going for broke with this high performance EV6 GT.

With a model like this, some debauchery is to be expected, fittingly Kia invited us to Las Vegas for a First Drive.

The EV6 GT, as hard as it may be, is not to be confused with the EV6 GT Line.

So what separates this GT from the GT Line? Only 200+ horsepower and a host of go fast goodies.

Before exploring the limits of the EV6 GTs performance prowess, we took the scenic route to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On the smooth, sweeping corners inside Lake Meade Stake Park the GT felt confident and settled.  In fact, me and my driving partner had to remind ourselves that it’s technically an SUV. Even in its softest setting the suspension is noticeably tighter than MotorWeek’s Long Term EV6, but certainly acceptable for daily use.

For your daily driving pleasure, the three standard drive modes of Eco, Normal and Sport all carry over. But in the GT there’s even more. Pressing this green button on the lower right hand side of the steering wheel immediately unlocks peak performance, which is best experienced on a race track.

GREG: “So first and foremost I feel like I have to give a bit of a disclaimer on the EV6 GT. I’m not sure what some people are thinking. I know going into this I just thought it was a faster version of the EV6, but like this is a legit performance step up like to the point where these sport bucket seats are really not for the faint of heart. They feel good on the race track right now, but on the street I noticed that they didn’t really offer a ton of support. So that’s something you should note if you’re getting into this car. Then of course there’s 576 horsepower and it’s just like right there ready to roll man. It’s legit power.

…let’s go in to GT MODE. There it is! Noticeable power difference there going into GT Mode.

…ooooh yeah. The tail is definitely happy. A lot of the power goes to those rear wheels. It is all-wheel drive but more power can be sent to the rears.

Haha it’s very easy to control with that back end coming out. The brakes do seem to have less bite when you’re trying to come down from higher speed I mean this is not a light vehicle.”

Brakes are larger than they are on a standard EV6. Calipers are 4 pistons up front and painted lime green at all 4 corners; the most obvious GT giveaway on an otherwise subtly modified exterior design . The wheels measure 21-inches and they’re wrapped in z-rated Good Year Eagle F-1 rubber with the rears benefiting from an electronic limited slip differential.

GREG: “And if you really don’t try to induce oversteer, the LSD will grip and rip out of a corner. Just like this, there it goes.”

But if you are looking to induce oversteer, Kia has included HDM, or Hidden Drift Mode, which can send up to 100% of torque to the rear wheels.

GREG: “I mean I’m not gonna call this a legit track animal, but it is fun out here…

…I can’t stop doing that.

I mean remember this is 576-horsepower, 545 lb.-ft of torque so we’re not talking about something you can just throw around the track and not really care about it. You gotta have some skill driving this thing.”

The EV6 GT weighs almost 4,800 lbs and while it doesn’t ride traditional SUV high, it doesn’t sit hot hatch low, so even though it is more than capable on a road course performance maneuvers like trail braking can get a little dicey if you’re not careful.

Luckily, the EV6 GT is just as fun in a straight line.

GREG:”…and there we go, we’re off!

…there’s 60 already. 80, 85, 90, this thing pulls all the way down the track. 120 and I’m still pulling down the track, which is not usually what you do in an EV. That is fast. That is a fast car.”

No 0-60 times were recorded, but Kia lists it at 3.4 seconds. But there is a trade-off. The EV6 GT is EPA rated at 206 miles of driving range; almost 50-fewer miles than the 2023 GT-Line with all-wheel drive. It does, however, benefit from fast charging capabilities. A 350 kW fast charger can take the battery from 10% to 80% state of charge in as little as 18 minutes.

Kia says it’ll make somewhere between 2,000 to 2,500 EV6 GTs for 2023. Not a ton, so there is some exclusivity there. Arriving in dealers now, the GT stickers for $62,695 after destination. And we’ll have plenty more on the EV6 GT and others, right here on MotorWeek.