THE first of seven purely electric vehicles to be released by Kia by 2026 has arrived in the UK as the Korean car maker prepares for the future with the launch of the EV6.
It is a long range crossover SUV that can travel up to 328 miles on a full charge and drives in the spirit of a true GT.
Priced from £40,945 the EV6 will be available in three trim grades with the range topping out from £51,945 for an all-wheel-drive version with 321bhp on tap.
Rear-wheel-drive cars develop 226bhp and both have a 71.4kWh battery pack which can be recharged to 80 per cent capacity in just 18 minutes from a 350kW charger.
A recharge to the same level from a 50kW charger takes one hour and 13 minutes while a full replenishment to 100 per cent from a 7kW home charger can be done in seven hours and 20 minutes.
The line up starts with Air grade specification and goes on to see GT-Line models priced from £43,945 and tops out with GT-Line S models which start from £48,445 in rear-wheel-drive form.
All three come with a futuristic look to the design - inside and out - and technology is to the fore with twin 12.3-inch touchscreens standard on every version as is a full set of driving aids such as lane following and an advanced cruise control system.
High specification GT-Line S models take things even further with a comprehensive head up display system that projects driving information including navigation instructions on to the windscreen.
Haptic control buttons are another feature that appears on every EV6 and all in all the interior is right up to date and as high tech as the rest of the car.
All versions have a state of the art instrument panel which includes display screens which pop up in place of the outer dials showing real-time images of what is in the driver's blind spot either side of the vehicle when indicating.
It's a proper family model with five seats and a good amount of room in the rear while boot capacity ranges from 490 litres to 1,300 litres with further storage space available under the bonnet.
In keeping with Kia's eco-conscious approach vegan leather is available as an option for the upholstery.
As far as cars of our time go the EV6 has to be right at the top and with such range the EV6 is a rival to anything from Tesla or Jaguar in this price bracket.
On the road the EV6 drives with great composure and it has performance which can surprise - especially in sport mode where it feels remarkably lively.
Performance figures are 0 to 62mph in 7.3 seconds for the rear-wheel-drive versions and 5.2 seconds for the AWD models with top speeds limited to 114mph for both.
Paddle shifters allow for variable brake regeneration settings or even single pedal operation and Kia claims that in urban work the EV6 can travel almost 460 miles when starting from a full charge.
On our drives in the EV6 the best energy consumption we saw was 3.8 miles per kWh which equates to the equivalent of 128 miles per gallon - and that's nothing to be sneezed at with electricity currently costing around 30 pence per kilowatt hour.
To put that into perspective, a 100 mile trip in an EV6 would cost about Â£8 in electricity from a 350 kilovolt fast charger - but that's at a premium rate because of the fast charging which saw the EV6 replenished from 72 per cent charge to maximum in just over 40 minutes.
A similar recharge from a home charger would cost about half that much which makes the cost of running the EV6 about a third of that of a petrol engined car.
That has to be tempered by the distance it can travel on a full charge but Kia seems to have that covered with the EV6 - for most drivers anyway.
The car maker claims the EV6 can get from London to Edinburgh on a single charge and among the current crop of electric vehicles its quick recharge time is one of the fastest - if the right charger is available.
The charging port is sited at the rear offside of the car under the tail lights and all versions come equipped with a five-metre Type 2-to-Type 2 charger, as well as a Type 2-to-domestic three-pin plug charger as standard.
For Kia the EV6 is the beginning of a new range of models which could be gamechangers for the brand.
Already a flagship EV6 GT is in the pipeline which is due to arrive late next year and that will have 577bhp on tap with a target of 0 to 62mph acceleration in just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 162mph.
That takes Kia's electrification programme into a new dimension and demonstrates the potential of EVs.
For the time being, the EV6 is about as good as it gets in the new world of electric models and opens up fresh horizons for every motorist.