During a week when car enthusiasts around the world celebrate rare collectibles and exotic supercars, Kia showed up to Monterey with its 2023 EV6 GT and boasting that it out-accelerates the Ferrari Roma and the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder RWD. It’s the most powerful Kia production vehicle yet, with 576 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, blasting off to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 161 mph.
While Kia is claiming that the EV6 GT is an AMCI-certified winner of a drag race over exotic supercars from Ferrari and Lamborghini, the measured distance of the drag race wasn’t revealed. Still, as EV enthusiasts, we’re not terribly surprised the EV6 GT out-accelerates the Roma and Huracan Evo, but we’re guessing it’s definitely stirring the pot with some of the guests at Monterey Car Week.
Expected to arrive at Kia dealerships nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2022, we’re going to guess it’ll be difficult to get your hands on one right away in the U.S. without paying a premium. But those at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering this week were among the first to see the EV6 GT and its dual-motor, e-AWD powertrain in person. The power comes from a 160-kW motor up front and a 270-kW motor in the rear, while an energy-dense 77.4-kWh battery pack (80% Nickel, 10% Cobalt, 10% Manganese) serves both motors. But the Korean automaker didn’t stop at just giving the EV6 GT more power.
The high-performance EV crossover is supported by a dedicated sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers to deliver sporty handling and a comfortable ride. An electronic limited slip differential (e-LSD) gives the GT upgraded traction and stability by automatically directing torque to the wheels with the most grip. Standard on the model are larger 15-inch ventilated front brake rotors and 14.2-inch disc brakes in the rear with monoblock calipers. The 2023 Kia EV6 GT will ride on 21-inch wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber.
The flagship model in the EV6 lineup also introduces three new drive modes: GT Drive Mode, My Drive Mode, and Drift Mode. These options join the already-existing Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow that are found in the rest of the EV6 models. The GT Drive mode optimizes the performance of the EV’s motors, braking, steering, suspension, e-LSD, and Electronic Stability Control with just a push of a button on the steering wheel, shifting them over to their most dynamic settings.
The My Drive Mode is as it sounds, allowing the driver to customize the settings to their personal preference. Finally, the Drift Mode gives drivers the ability to distribute power to the rear wheels for some sideways fun. Speaking of fun, Kia also added two new sounds that are unique to the GT trim in the Active Sound Design options. The GT also claims the world’s first, mass-produced integrated drive axle, which combines wheel bearings with the drift shaft to shed weight, enhancing durability and handling.
Given that this is Kia’s most powerful production vehicle yet, it’s little surprise it suffers a bit in the range department, especially when compared to the rest of the EV6 lineup. Owners will get 206 miles of all-electric range, but will obviously still benefit from the 800V fast charging capabilities, replenishing from 10% to 80% of battery capacity in under 18 minutes at 350-kW chargers. It’s a compromise for all that performance, but we imagine it won’t be a real deal-breaker for EV6 GT owners.
Changes to the front and rear fascias of the GT are subtle, but noticeable. A rear aero spoiler and diffuser also hint that this EV6 packs a serious punch. Stepping into the cabin, the “GT” moniker has been inscribed into the front seats, which also get green piping. Interior touches that are unique to the GT include neon accents, lightweight front bucket seats, and a striped motif found on the upper dash and front armrest.
If you’ve been waiting for the Kia EV6 GT’s debut since the EV6 was first unveiled, you should probably start contacting your local dealership and getting on a list. Currently in most states, the EV6 is still difficult to purchase and many dealerships are charging a premium over MSRP. But if you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on the GT, you’ll also get a charging credit of 1,000 kWh at Electrify America stations. You’ll have up to three years to use it all.
Pricing on the 2023 Kia EV6 GT will be announced closer to its launch later this year.
Updated (9:09 am EST, 11/21/2022): Added video walk around from the LA Auto Show.
Updated (2:31 pm EST, 11/17/2022): Added photos of the 2023 Kia EV6 GT from the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show.