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Move over, HSV and FPV! Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and Tesla Model Y-rivalling Kia EV6 GT set to be history's first Australian-tuned EV muscle car, and at a lower price than anticipated to boot

With acceleration to worry rivals like the Tesla Model Y Performance, the Kia EV6 GT may prove to be a big hit in Australia.

Kia is planning to give Australian electric car buyers a pleasant surprise, and Tesla a massive headache, later this year with lower-than-expected pricing for the hotly-awaited EV6 GT.

It has also been revealed that the EV performance-car flagship is currently undergoing its final round of Australian-specific road tuning to elevate it above and beyond what the base EV6 Air and GT-Line already possess.

According to Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) product planning general manager, Roland Rivero, the EV6 GT should be on sale before the end of the year, with prices starting at below $100,000.

“Even though every dealer that has taken a deposit for it has said it’s a six-figure car (over $100,000), it may not necessarily finish with six figures,” he said. “So, we’re strongly pushing for a figure that starts with a nine.

“Our job on the Australian side is to haggle based on where we think (the EV6 GT) should sit, where rightfully it should be priced relative to the market, relative to its competition.

“So, there’s that, we know where Teslas are positioned and also know where other EVs like Polestar 2 too. We put all those variables to the finance department of Korea, saying that this is a big step for a Kia product to be six figures, and although we’re very confident that demand will exceed supply, we still need to be very humble.”

Presently, the EV6 range kicks off with the Air RWD (rear-wheel drive) from $67,990 (all before on-road costs), rising to $74,990 for the GT-Line RWD, or $82,990 if you add the twin electric motor GT-Line AWD (all-wheel drive) grade.

Mr Rivero also confirmed that the finishing touches are being applied to the EV6 GT, to help make it more suitable to local conditions as well as performance-car tastes.

“Graeme (Gambold, world-renowned chassis dynamist and racing-car driver with a decade-long association with KMAu involving over 50 models) has already 80 per cent tuned the EV6 GT (in time) for when it arrives at the tail end of this year,” he said.

“And he’s got to do probably another 20 per cent tuning of the electric suspension control.”

In the eyes of Australian muscle car fans, this separates the EV6 GT from all other electric cars – including the closely-related Hyundai Ioniq 5 that begat it – as the first high-performance EV in history to undergo this level of site-specific finessing for our market.

It is believed that, as with other Kias in Australia, the changes made to bolster the EV6 GT’s ride and handling characteristics include modifications to the springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and other suspension components.

To recap, the EV6 GT builds on the already gutsy 168kW/350Nm RWD and 239kW/605Nm AWD versions, with a 430kW/740Nm dual-motor powertrain that’s good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.5 seconds flat (instead of 7.3s and 5.2s respectively), on its way to a 260km/h top speed.

This means the Kia is some 0.2s quicker to 100 than the coming Tesla Model Y Performance SUV that’s starts at $93,900, though it’s also the same amount of time slower than the Model 3 Performance sedan equivalent.