The Kia EV6 is arriving next month with the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y firmly in its sights.
The second electric Kia sold locally will feature a long-range battery and comprehensive equipment list to justify its $67,990 plus on-road costs price. It’s eligible for government electric car rebates and subsidies in various States and Territories.
A three-variant line-up will be available in Australia, with around 500 units confirmed for our market through 2022 – though Kia Australia insists it’s “in continuous dialogue with head office” to increase that figure due to demand.
Kicking off the range is the entry-level EV6 Air, available in single-motor RWD guise Down Under. It has the longest driving range: up to 528 kilometres per charge of its standard 77.4kWh battery, which can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes via 350kW DC fast-charging.
For reference, the Air bisects the base Tesla Model 3 ($59,900 with 491km range) and Model 3 Long Range ($73,200 with 602km of range), while also undercutting sister brand Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 2WD ($71,900 with 451km of range).
It also puts the base EV6 just $2000 above the top-spec Kia Niro EV Sport ($65,990), which is a smaller vehicle with less range (455km).
The EV6 Air is powered by a 168kW/350Nm electric motor mounted on the rear axle, for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds. That’s 1.2 seconds slower than a base Model 3, but 0.1 seconds than the single-motor Ioniq 5.
It’s not stingy on kit either, with the base EV6 Air featuring:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Low rolling resistance EV tyres
- LED headlights (reflector type)
- LED tail lights
- LED interior lighting
- Power-folding side mirrors
- Acoustic windscreen
- Dual 12.3-inch displays (driver cluster + infotainment)
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (wired)
- Satellite navigation
- Dual-zone climate control
- Cloth/leatherette upholstery
- Power lumbar adjustment (driver)
- Wireless phone charger
- Automatic wipers
- Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror
- V2L interior port (3-point socket)
All EV6 models will offer a suite of assistance systems as standard (unlike some rivals), including:
- AEB with pedestrian/cyclist/junction assist
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Lane-keep assist
- Lane Following Assist (active centring)
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Front-centre airbag
- Intelligent speed limit assist
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Front/rear parking sensors
- Reversing camera
The Kia EV6 has also been subjected to the brand’s local tuning program, led by Graeme Gambold, who has localised the ride of over 50 Kia models during the last decade.
Mr Gambold worked closely with teams in Namyang, South Korea on the local chassis setup despite challenges and constraints posed by COVID lockdowns across the globe. Recent tests have centred on regional Victorian roads.
“One of the things we are always tuning for in Australia is large body movements on country roads at 100km/h and that is always manifested with a high centre of gravity roll dynamic in conventional car,” Mr Gambold explained.
“Electric cars don’t have as much of that, they have a lot of vertical movement, because of the weight but they don’t have the lateral roll, so we can use that as a bit of a tuning tool.”
According to Kia Australia’s marketing boss, Dean Norbiato, the brand is seeing an even split between existing Kia owners and newcomers showing interest in the EV6, which has amassed over 25,000 expressions of interest locally.
Mr Norbiato says local interest in the EV6 is about three times the level of the Stinger, which was the local arm’s previous record holder for pre-sale interest.
Kia Australia has taken “around 1800” EV6 orders already, a month before the vehicle officially goes on sale, which at current allocation numbers would mean the vehicle is effectively sold out for nearly four years – though we’d expect Australian allocation to increase in the coming years.
Read our preliminary Kia EV6 price and specs breakdown here, and stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.
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