2023 Kia EV6 GT

PHOENIX — We first reviewed and wrote about Kia’s all- and electric only EV6 sedan with its quirky exterior design and straddling the lines of being a crossover utility vehicle, wagon or a sportback sedan that we deemed “stunning” in design language about one year ago.
So impressed with the EV6 we couldn’t help but throw continuing superlatives at it like, seats that are supremely comfortable, a 310-mile driving range between charging along with quick recharging to 80% in just 18 minutes, roomy, aand fantastic driving dynamics.

Along with its value pricing we declared it the best vehicle Kia has ever made and for the money the best all-electric vehicle on the market today.

Being practical, the EV6 is all the electric car you would ever need or want. That is until we were given the opportunity for a weeklong testing of the newly added for 2023 GT variant and found it absolutely decimates the common senses attributed to the ordinary EV6.

So, what’s so special about the EV6-GT? For starters, Kia designers tweaked the exterior styling just enough by adding larger, sportier wheels, a subtly aggressive body kit including an aerodynamic spoiler out back and splashes of neon lime green paint and coloring both outside and in as if adorned via a Pixie Dust formula from Disney. There’s even a green GT button on the steering wheel that accesses the new Dynamic mode that when engaged with a simple press sets off an explosion (noiseless of course) of instant thrust.

Want more? The GT has it by adding a secret drift mode. Here’s how it works: Start with the GT parked, press the neon green button, push and hold the ESC button that in turn disconnect the Electronic Stability Control, an automatic safety feature that works to prevent accidents by helping your vehicle go in the direction you want it to go to help prevent it from “spinning out” or “plowing out” due to the loss of road traction because of slipping wheels. Keep holding the button until ESC is completely off, an amber light on the instrument panel will glow with the warning, pull and hold both steering wheel paddles and you’re off.

What happens next absolutely decimates one’s senses as the vehicle’s dual-motor 577 horsepower, 546 lb.-ft torque, single-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive launches the GT from 0-60 mph in just a tick over 3-seconds and 11.4 seconds through the standing quarter mile. Further, for reasons unknown, while most all-electric cars have top end speed limiters set low assumably for reasons of driving range the GT is capable of reaching 161 mph.

It isn’t surprising that drift mode is big timer fun if not just the ability to ignite the tires to completely engulfing the vehicle overtaken by smoke from the tires. Clearly, this is the most powerful vehicle Kia has ever produced.

As with other high-performance EVs on the market, the GT’s performance output is restricted depending on which drive mode the driver selects. Eco limits the system to a peak of 288 horsepower, selecting Normal and Sport ups it to 460 and the Dynamic mode unleashes the full 577 horsepower.

Ride quality is impressive and even when in the firmer mode handled bumps, dips and uneven pavement with assured aplomb. The cabin spacious, solidly constructed with durable materials and exceptionally comfortable seats. Occupants can enjoy Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the navigation system seems dated compared to competitors.

But all this performance goodness comes at the expense of driving range of just 206 miles, down from 310 miles on our previously tested non-GT EV6. Use Eco mode all you want and the most we were able to squeeze out was around 200 miles. Extensive use of Dynamic mode dropped us to 155 miles of range. The good news is recharge at a 350-kW recharge station and have followed preconditioning procedures, recharging the 77.4 kWh battery pack as mentioned earlier should only take 18 minutes. The GT however isn’t going to be a confirmed road-tripping vehicle.

Still by comparison the EV6 GT is an electric-performance car bargain that’s quicker than Porsche’s Taycan 4S at about half the starting price. Kia says they only plan to bring from 2,000 to 2,500 GTs annually into the U.S., so you’ll need to get moving if you want one.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $61,400
Price as Tested: $62,865
Engine-Transmission: Dual- front/rear electric motor with liquid-cooled lithium-ion 77.4kWh battery pack with a single direct-rive automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive.
Horsepower: 577-hp
Driving Range: 206 miles EPA estimate

Competes With:
Porsche Taycan 4S
Tesla Model Y

Very fast – 3.2-seconds to 60 mph fast
Factory set to drift mode
Quick to recharge

Dismal driving range
Looks nearly identical to non-GT EV6
Limited production

— Jim Prueter