The fastest production Kia ever built is slated for local showrooms before the end of this year, with a ride and handling tune developed in Australia.
The 2023 Kia EV6 GT electric performance car is due in Australian showrooms before year’s end, with a suspension and steering tune developed on local roads.
Previously earmarked for launch in “late 2022 or early 2023”, Kia Australia has now indicated first showroom arrivals for the EV6 GT in the fourth quarter of this year (October to December) – pending any further delays.
Pricing is yet to be announced, however if overseas prices are a guide, the EV6 GT is expected to sit at about $95,000 plus on-road costs – or closer to $105,000 drive-away.
As with the standard EV6 range, the EV6 GT range will benefit from an Australian ride and handling tune – one of only four regional set-up
s allowed globally, expected to comprise Europe, the USA, Korea and Australia.
Initial tuning began in Germany, according to Kia Australia, on lower-quality ‘B-grade’ back roads – intended to simulate rough Australian country roads – as well as the Nurburgring race circuit.
“The initial tuning in Germany locked in the hard parts including the hydraulic tune of the shock absorbers and the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS),” according to Kia Australia.
“The finishing touches have recently been conducted back home around Canberra and greater [Australian Capital Territory] area.”
Pictured in the background of one of Kia Australia’s official images is a Polestar 2 electric car, ahead of a petrol-powered Audi S4 sports sedan – which, if being driven by Kia engineers, suggest the company is setting its dynamic benchmark high.
General Manager of Product at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, said in a media statement: “Being given the opportunity to add a new dynamic halo to our range, it was important we developed an Australian tune and not simply adopt a spec from another market.
“The importance of our requirement for a localised and unique tune is supported by headquarters and allows Kia Australia one of only four Global Tuning Specs available for EV6 GT.
“Despite the hurdles that confronted us, from the lack of availability of a test mule in Namyang [in Korea] to the impracticalities of COVID-19 restrictions in Korea requiring seven days of isolation, we negotiated an unprecedented new process of initial tuning in Germany and then fine tuning in Australia.
“We are thankful for the support from HMETC (Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center) for allowing us to utilise their pre-production vehicle and their facilities in Nürburg,” he said.
Much of the tuning work has been conducted by Kia Australia engineer Graeme Gambold, which has “localised the ride [and handling] of over 50 Kia models during the last 11 years,” according to the Korean car maker.
“We had a solid platform to work with and spent time in both Germany and locally, ensuring the GT can cope with our harsher conditions. Compliance on rough country roads and importantly grip on uneven surfaces which is more prevalent in Australia, has been addressed,” said Gambold.
Revealed a year ago, the EV6 GT is the high-performance version of Kia’s first dedicated electric car, and is its most powerful production vehicle ever.
Dual electric motors develop 430kW and 740Nm – well up the lesser 239kW/605Nm EV6 GT-Line AWD, as well as its previous most powerful car, the 274kW/510Nm Stinger GT V6 sedan.
It’s fed by a 77.4kWh battery pack enabling a 3.5-second 0-100km/h sprint time and 260km/h top speed. Performance brakes, 21-inch wheels, adaptive suspension and a limited-slip rear differential form part of the package.
The 2023 Kia EV6 GT is due in Australian showrooms between October and December 2022, with prices – expected to hover just under $100,000 plus on-road costs – to be announced closer to launch.