Mountain Wheels: Blazingly fast Kia EV6 GT demonstrates EV excess |

Mountain Wheels: Blazingly fast Kia EV6 GT demonstrates EV excess

With a 161-mph top speed and 0-60 times faster than an Audi R8, Kia’s sporty rendition of the EV6 electric crossover is brutal, indeed.
Courtesy photo

Not mentioning my zero-percent success rate in actually publicly charging the car during the week I had it, in Metro Denver — which is kind of a big deal for an electric vehicle with a 200-mile-or-lower range — the Kia EV6 GT is still a fantastic vehicle.

With a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, that beats supercars of the relatively recent era, butched-up crossover looks that defy EV ubiquity and a pleasant mix of total chaos and environmentally friendly attributes, it’s a whole lot of automobile, especially for a not-unbelievable $62,865.

Mountain life practicality? I’ll get back to you on that one, though its dual-motor electronic all-wheel drive suggests so, somewhat, besides the fact that mine was equipped with high-eco-performance (yes, really) 21-inch summer tires and could not really be driven even in light rain.

Swap those out, get a home charger, and you’ll have the most hilarious 100-mile trips away from home you can imagine, with a truly strange mix of ultra-modern tech and totally old-school cloth/suede insert sport bucket racing seats, Body Glove neon green brake calipers and … 576 horsepower to play with.

Mix a fully-charged battery and July-styled weather, and I figure canyoneering would be a hoot, especially as the car absolutely decimates anyone in a WRX, or a mid-2000s Ferrari for that matter. Maybe this is what driving a dual-motor Tesla is like. I have no idea, but it seems like it.

Sure, you can get EV6’s non-race car rendition and get a more real-world useful 310-mile range

The EV6 GT is peculiar in the same way that the Volvo-offshoot Polestar 2 is, with hunched-up, almost crossover looks, loads of aero and race car mirrors. It’s sleek but chunky, with those 21-inch wheels sporting a strange five-spoke design. Again, lots of curiosities going on.

Or, the bench-styled back seat, outlined with neon pinstriping, parked above a rear floor space that’s so large that a big-time national auto writer I know said it passed the 16-inch pizza box test. So it’s not a tiny car, either.

Rolling along, almost entirely silently, the tires are very, very loud, as there’s more pure silent go than the weirdly and artificially orchestrated experience found in Mercedes’ and BMW’s hyper-powerful EVs.

Acceleration is brain-twisting, and gets incrementally more terrifying in sport mode. Then there’s the neon-green GT button on the wheel that throws even more available power at you. Use all of that and you might not even make it to Vail and back from Frisco on one electric “tank” of power. Again, lots of mixed metaphors here.

While the EV6 GT sports a dual panoramic set of 12.3-inch instrument and navigation displays, the A/V stuff is a little underwhelming and almost identical to what you’ll find in the dowdy Kia Niro or Hyundai Kona EVs.

It’s got those strange two-mode Kia haptic controls that mean you can have either audio and navigation controls or HVAC controls, but not both at the same time.

Besides the comfortably sporty seats, I also appreciated that it had an old-fashioned manual tilt steering wheel — the wheel itself being a little Star Trek, just like the overly long console arch — and a futuristic but largely button-free cabin that encourages you to focus 100% on driving until you literally run out of power. I think you might be able to add four-point harness seatbelts to the race seats.

As mentioned, I had zero luck accessing available or functioning public charging in Littleton when I really needed it (the Electrify America chargers, pictured, were on the fritz), but it does sport an 800-volt DC fast charge port that will give it an 80% charge in 10 minutes, if we actually had any super-high voltage public chargers in Colorado. I have yet to find one that will charge like that.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.