2023 Kia EV6 GT
Kia Cranks It Up
No doubt about it, last year’s Kia EV6 was a true game changer for mainstream battery electric vehicles. And no wonder it won our 2023 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best of the Year! And, we all knew the story wouldn’t end there, as Kia is set to unleash all of the EV6’s performance potential with this EV6 GT. So, let’s see what happens when the EV6 is cranked up to 11.
When you’ve got a good thing going, you can either stand pat and just ride it out, or you can go back to work and attempt to turn something good into something great. After one drive in this 2023 Kia EV6 GT it was obvious to us that Kia has done just that: made a truly good car into a truly great one.
For starters, the EV6 GT’s dual-motor setup has a 160kW front motor paired with a 270-kW unit in the rear for a total output of 576-horsepower and 545 lb-ft. of torque. Moreover, it’s not all about just more power, there’s a full performance upgrade with lowered suspension with a completely different front setup, stiffer chassis, 21-inch wheels with sportier rubber, and it’s hard to miss the new neon brake calipers which clamp down on larger brake rotors both up front and in back.
The ride is noticeably firmer, especially when Sport mode meets rough pavement, and a quicker steering ratio lends a heightened sense of performance intent that we even found a little twitchy at times on our test track.
But, the car feels light and tossable with very little body roll, and truly wants to be pushed hard. Kia has even added a Drift Mode into the mix which priorities rear-motor power, dials back stability control, and allows the electronic limited-slip differential to send heaps of power to the outside rear wheel in turns to trigger as much oversteer as you can handle.
Acceleration insanity is accessed through a new GT button on the steering wheel, and there’s plenty of all-wheel drive grip for steady hooking and booking off the line. We hit 60 in 3.5-seconds.
Unlike many EVs, there’s no tapering off of power delivery as you work your way down the track, no getting off this freight train at any time during the full ¼-mile which we finished in 11.8-seconds at 118 miles-per-hour. Top speed increases from 117 to 161 miles-per-hour.
Legit sport seats are manually operated and do sacrifice a little comfort, but keep you locked in and loaded for whatever fun you plan on getting into. The GT uses the same 77.4-kWh battery as standard all-wheel drive EV6s, so range is rated at just 206-miles down from a max of 282. But we saw as many as 217 available in the display and were on pace for about 215-miles taking it almost down to zero. That also moves the efficiency rating from good to fair at 42 kWh/100 miles. But don’t forget, 350-kw DC fast charging means it charges faster than most EVs too.
The EV6 was already a good looking machine, but with the GT’s more aggressive front and rear fascias; it looks sleeker, and even more like a modern performance machine, rather than a family ute. And, just to put an exclamation point on the GT’s purpose, you will have to give up a few luxury items like ventilated seats, but all the necessary tech for staying connected is still here, along with splashes of neon green to add a sporty flair to the interior.
Sure, there are higher performance EVs out there, but none priced anywhere close to the GT which starts at $62,925; just 4-grand over an all-wheel drive GT-Line.
The 2022 Kia EV6 did indeed change the game for mainstream EVs, and now with the 2023 EV6 GT, Kia proves that humble platform is more than capable of hanging with the high-dollar big boys when it comes to performance. This Kia does indeed go to 11, so plug it in, and crank it up!
- Motor Setup: Dual Motor
- Horsepower: 576
- 0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 114 feet (avg)
- MW Range: ~ 215 miles
- Battery: 77.4-kWh
- Torque: 545 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 11.8 seconds at 118 mph
- EPA Range: 206 miles
- MW Efficiency: 42 kWh/100 miles