Kia is creating an electrical storm with its stylish and sporty new battery-powered EV6 coupe-like crossover. Already picking up awards, it has more than 1,500 UK pre-orders to launch this feisty five-seater. I’ve just been driving one on British roads.
There’s a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive powered by a 77.4kWh high-voltage lithiumion polymer battery pack.
Priced from £40,945, the entry level, but well-stocked Air trim spec comes only with rear wheel drive, while the GT-Line (£43,945 to £47,445) and GT-Line S (£48,445 to £51,945) have an all-wheel-drive option.
Sprinter: Kia’s electric EV6 will challenge Tesla and BMW
For performance and value, it’s a keen challenger to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Tesla.
I drove the mid-range EV6 GTLine rear-wheel drive on 19 in wheels, priced from £43,945 with a more than adequate range of up to 328 miles. Developing 226bhp and linked to a single-speed automatic transmission, it sprints to 62mph in 7.3 seconds up 114mph. It’s quiet, but has pace and is engaging in taut and dynamic Sport mode. Other modes are Eco, Normal and even Snow.
Brewing up: Nicki Shields of electric car website Electrifying.com plugging a kettle into a Kia EV6
It’s a comfortable and practical family car with aerodynamic coupe styling, flush pop-out handles, privacy glass in the rear, plenty of space, a big boot with underfloor storage, sporty head rests and rear seats that fold down remotely.
Will it fit in my garage? Kia EV6 GT Line, Rear Wheel Drive
EV6 price range: £40,945 to £51,945
Battery: 77.4kWh lithium ion polymer.
Wheels: 19 inch
Range: 328 miles (London to Newcastle with miles to spare)
Transmission: single-speed automatic transmission
0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
Top speed: 114mph
Drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow.
Luggage space: Rear seats up: 490 litres
Rear seats folded down: 1,300 litres
Rear privacy glass
12.3 inch curved driver display screen
Provides portable power supply to charge other cars, camping kit, or boil a kettle
You can even use the car itself as a portable power supply to charge another car or electric bike, camping equipment, or just boil a kettle to make a cup of tea.
It’ll even tow a trailer of up to 1,600 kg and has a seven-year warranty. Vegan leather and recycled plastic is also available.
The all-wheel version with a dual motor offers 321bhp, goes from rest to 62mph in 5.2 seconds, and up to 116 mph with a reduced range of 314 miles.
And a powerful range-topping flagship 577bhp ‘GT ‘ – with lightning-fast super-car acceleration from 0 to 62mph in 3.5 seconds up to a top speed of 162mph – arrives at the end of next year and will account for a quarter of sales.
The EV6 will fully charge overnight (in 7 hours and 20 minutes) on a standard 11kW AC charger, with an 80 per cent charge taking between 73 minutes and 18 minutes on a DC fast-charger.
High trim levels include a sun-roof and powered automatic tail-gate.
With Kia you do get value for money in terms of standard kit and a seven year warranty.
There isn’t a kitchen sink – I checked – but you could run a mobile kitchen from its power socket.
My favourite safety feature is the indicator cameras which project a blind spot image of what’s behind you when you indicate to turn either left or right.
The live-feed image pops either into the left or right side of the screen in front of the driver, depending on the manoeuvre.
Top job for Alison Jones
A woman is leading Britain’s car industry for the first time in a history stretching back more than a century — as industry chiefs called for more female leaders in top jobs.
Stellantis boss Alison Jones was named this week as the new president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), taking over in the New Year.
Top job: Stellantis boss Alison Jones was named as the new president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
She is global senior vice-president and UK manager for the conglomerate — now the world’s fourth largest car-maker — owning Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and more.
Alison said: ‘It continues to be pivotal and exciting times for our industry as we drive technological developments and customer experiences, respond to regulatory changes, and adapt to the effects of coronavirus and post-Brexit world.’
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that the organisation will continue to work to improve diversity.
Up in arms: Gordon Bennett was known for his bad behaviour
Read all about it: Gordon Bennett
Gordon Bennett! It’s an oath still uttered today yet few know of its origins.
A new book out in time for Christmas may put that right. Born in 1841, James Gordon Bennett was a ‘spoilt’ only son who took over as publisher of the New York Herald from his father, but gained fame as the ‘father of International Motor Racing’.
In 1899, he instigated the ‘International Gordon Bennett Cup’ race series, a forerunner of today’s F1 Grand Prix. Known for his bad behaviour, on one occasion it provoked an exclamation of surprise, so the phrase ‘Gordon Bennett!’ was born.
- Gordon Bennett’s story is chronicled by author Patrick Lynch in At The Greatest Speed (Unicorn, £25).
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