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The best Six EVer Kia's new EV6 is an extraordinary blend of brilliant design and beautiful driving dynamics


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The all-new Kia EV6

The all-new Kia EV6

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos rally car

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos rally car

The interior is pure modern refinement.

The interior is pure modern refinement.

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos.

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos.

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The all-new Kia EV6

Kia - EV6 International launch

Stop the press. I have just driven an all-electric car that is going to make every other vehicle manufacturer turn Korean with envy! This car is so hot it would walk away with top prize in a beauty pageant without even batting a bootlid. Step forward Kia's all-new EV6 and take a bow.

Over the past number of years, the Kia brand has been quietly climbing up the league table, assembling a squad of stars to rival the big guns in the automotive European Super League.

Back in 2006, some Alex Ferguson-like guru persuaded the Ronaldo of car design, Peter Schreyer, to sign on the dotted line from Audi - right under the noses of some of Kia's biggest competitors - on transfer deadline day.

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The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos rally car

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos rally car

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos rally car

And just like Manchester United, his arrival in Korea brought immediate success to a brand that was just about sitting mid-table in the designer leagues.

From the first moment he pulled on the Kia jersey, he lifted his team-mates to a level that they could have only dreamed about 10 years ago.

Hot on Schreyer's heels came Albert Biermann, who was the much-lauded engineer in BMW's 'M' performance department at the time.

The signing of this dynamic duo proved to be a master-stroke, taking the brand from industry fast-followers to the automotive 'game changers'.

And I can tell you one thing for sure, if this new all-electric EV6 is the opening chapter in the Korean company's new book, it is going to be a best-seller in no time at all.

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The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos.

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos.

The rear end is inspired by the 1970s Lancia Stratos.

From the moment I first laid eyes on the new EV6, I knew Kia had something very special on its hands.

Although it shares the same platform as the equally excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV6 has been given a much more youthful look with a rear-end that even J-Lo would be proud of.

A Kia insider told us this week that the stunning rear end was inspired by a famous 1970s rally car. After three unsuccessful guesses on the night, he finally told me that it was loosely based on the Lancia Stratos - if anyone can remember that? I certainly never would have guessed it, even after 100 attempts.

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From every angle, the EV6 oozes sex appeal. From the LED lights at the front, to the stylish wing mirrors, Kia has carefully carved out a work of art. It is going to take something really special next year to stop the EV6 from claiming every motor industry award.

On the inside, despite its appearance, the EV6 has an enormous amount of room for a family of five. Even when I sat behind the driver seat, which I had adjusted to accommodate my long pins, there was plenty of room for a tall rear-seat passenger.

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The interior is pure modern refinement.

The interior is pure modern refinement.

The interior is pure modern refinement.

The only area where it is slightly let down is in the boot, with myself and my driving companion struggling to fit one large suitcase and two cabin bags. It is definitely smaller than its Ioniq 5 sibling.

The cabin itself is a very special place to be. The switchgear is premium quality and the technology on offer would give a Mercedes S-Class a run for its money.

Access to all the in-car tech comes via two 12.3-inch touch-screens that look like a double iPad.

The left-hand touch-screen is remarkably easy to use, while the one in front of the driver is info-only.

Thankfully, Kia has gone old school and left two actual knobs to control the temperature instead of those annoying touch temperature gauges that go up half a degree on every tap. Some things are best left alone in this modern world...

On the road, the all-new EV6 is as good as it gets. The handling is of BMW quality, both on motorways and meandering mountain roads. The power from the 77kWh battery is up there with that of a petrol supercar on take-off - it's just phenomenal.

There will be two models on offer when it arrives on our shores, priced at €55k (Earth model) and €60k (GT-Line) respectively. Both prices quoted are before you subtract the €5k EV grant the Government retained in the Budget this week.

Kia Ireland says it won't be bringing in the smaller-battery model and is sticking with the 77kWh model which has a claimed range of 500km. I have to admit, it was one of the first times I drove an electric car and never once had range anxiety.

We tested the rear-wheel drive version, which has a slightly higher range (around 30km) than the AWD version - the latter will arrive later next year.

Overall, I feel this car is the beginning of a new era for the Kia brand and I would expect to see an awful lot of models sold next year in Ireland.

Get your order in now if you don't want to miss out. Believe me, this six is on fire.

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