Zero To Hero On A Racetrack With Kia’s EV6 GT
— 3 February 2023

Zero To Hero On A Racetrack With Kia’s EV6 GT

— 3 February 2023
John McMahon
John McMahon

Looking through a list of all the cars I’ve driven in my time with Boss Hunting, you’d be surprised to know that perhaps only a select few of them would be considered “supercar” worthy. In today’s world, that’s anything that can do the 0-100km/h dash in 3 seconds or less, but even just a few years ago, 3.5 seconds was considered otherworldly fast.

Audi’s holy grail sleeper wagon, the RS6 Performance? 3.5 seconds. Jaguar’s ferocious eight-cylinder F-Type SVR? 3.5 seconds. McLaren’s alien-like 570S? 3.5 seconds. Even Bentley’s Continental GTC Speed I drove last November was clocking 3.6 seconds.

All are fantastic internal combustion machines in their own right, and each of these cars put a smile on my face for their own reason. But how can people say they’re not excited about the electric future of motoring when Kia – of all brands – can also pack a 3.5-second sucker punch with the EV6 GT?

And at such an admirable performance-to-pricepoint ratio at that. For orders placed in 2023, the entry point to the EV6 cohort now starts at $72,590. After much speculation, we can confirm the EV6 GT in question will be priced at $99,590.

If you’re keen to read my thoughts on the EV6 generally, my article from its national launch last year is a good place to start. You’ll find chat about standard features (of which there are plenty), different trim options, and its direct competitors.

To be clear, you won’t find any in-depth commentary on the GT in this article after just a brief couple of hours at Sandown Raceway. What you will find is an impression of what it was like to drive a Kia on a track. An opportunity that comes at the absolute apex of the brand’s renaissance. Kia’s radically different design trajectory, foray into higher price points, and multi-million dollar Australian Open sponsorships have all come down to this EV6 GT.

For so long Kia has wanted to be the cool kid on the block. Has it delivered on the task at hand? Well, I never thought I’d see the day an invite to a track day with Kia would hit my inbox, so for that reason alone, I’d argue yes.

The silence was deafening as I pointed the nose of the EV6 GT dead ahead on the grid just outside the pitlane. No matter how many EVs you’ve driven, you can’t help but always second guess yourself – wait a minute, is it on?

Slamming my foot to the floor, the 430kW of power (160kW at the front and 270kW at the rear)  planted the car’s backend into the asphalt and 740Nm of torque had my head hitting the back of the seat almost instantly. Before I knew it, we were at 141 km/h and careering fast into turn one.

But the real magic began through the corners. Any electric car can rocket in a straight line, but not all are created equal when the chicane comes towards you at a blistering speed. I could feel the GT’s dual motors and torque vectoring actively transfer weight and power as I feathered the throttle. Performance driving an EV is a unique sensation entirely, with the natural deceleration of the regenerative braking making the brake pedal almost obsolete if timed correctly.

When I let the professionals show me how it was done, boy I was glad I had the GT’s custom bucket seats with added bolstering. I did not at all expect them to mount the high curbs with such aggression, which was impressively mitigated by the GT’s dampening ride and overall poise.

Looking beyond the popular marketing taglines around its 0-100 km/h time, what else does the GT offer to justify the price jump?

Aside from being Kia’s most powerful road car to date and sporty seats for the interior, the majority of the upgrades are mechanical. As the name would suggest, a GT high-performance drive mode is toggled by a neon green button on the steering wheel, and there’s even an electronically assisted drift mode for sliding in safe conditions.

Advanced traction control, a special steering rack for sharper turns, and improved bracing of the underbody are employed to give those behind the wheel confidence when driving spiritedly. As we noted in our previous piece on the EV6, the adaptive suspension has been specifically calibrated across thousands of kilometres of Australian roads to be optimised for local conditions. Standard for the GT are 21-inch wheels in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance rubber, as well as bigger front and rear brake discs with four-piston, green-painted front callipers.

In 2022, about 700 examples of the standard EV6 trickled through down under, and while it remains to be seen how popular the GT will be as a percentage of the core range, it’s a charismatic party piece that’ll surely attract a performance-skewed buyer at an equally attractive price-point.

Our time at Sandown was a mere teaser, and our week-long loan with the EV6 GT will be the real test. More to come in that regard – but oh boy, I’m excited to say the least.

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John McMahon
John McMahon is a founding member of the Boss Hunting team who honed his craft by managing content across website and social. Now, he's the publication's General Manager and specialises in bringing brands to life on the platform.


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