Kia EV6

Antuan Goodwin, CNET Road Show »

Of course, the EV6 isn’t Kia’s first EV. However, it is the first to use the company’s new dedicated electric vehicle platform or E-GMP, which will be shared with future Hyundai Motor Group EVs, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60.

We’ve already dug extensively into the EV6’s specs, but here’s a quick refresher. In the US, the compact crossover will initially arrive in three flavors. There are two rear-wheel-drive variants: One with a 58-kilowatt-hour battery making 167 horsepower and one with a 77.4-kWh long-range pack good for 218 hp. Finally, the all-wheel-drive version combines the big battery with dual motors for a total of 313 hp. Range hasn’t been announced, but Kia tells me to expect around 300 miles for multiple configurations with the best numbers coming from the long-range, rear-wheel-drive version.

The AWD model bumps power up to 446 lb-ft of torque split between its two motors. Kia says accelerating to 60 mph should take about 5 seconds, and the 0-to-30 jolt on the rooftop deck is a thrill — quick enough to literally make me hoot with joy. There’s some faux engine sound during the AWD car’s launch, too — a deep, futuristic tone that builds in pitch and volume as the EV6 gains speed.

The steering and ride quality are nearly identical to the RWD model, which is to say solid and planted. With more torque on tap on both axles, the AWD model feels better when rolling onto the throttle to exit a corner. Interestingly, i-Pedal braking also seems stronger here, with better stability when lifting off the throttle to add a touch of trail braking when entering a bend. It’s not quite a sports car, but the EV6 AWD definitely has me grinning.

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Fully Charged Show reviews the Kia EV6 »

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