Kia EV9 Electric SUV Unveiled
Kia has finally pulled the covers off the EV9, the brand’s biggest born-EV SUV. The EV9 is the realization of the idea that was displayed during the January 2023 Auto Expo.
The Kia EV9 Electric SUV is the second member of the company’s rapidly growing worldwide family of custom electric vehicles. It combines impressive performance capabilities with upscale styling and equipment to compete directly with new SUVs from manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The segment-defying EV6, which has been on sale in India since November of last year, will be joined by the Kia EV9. As Kia moves forward with its ambitious “Plan S” goal to release another 13 born-EVs by 2027, the EV9 marks the start of a daring new design period for the automaker.
The three-row EV9, which is around the same size as the Telluride SUV available in the American market, will be both one of Kia’s most costly and biggest models to date.
Kia has fully unveiled the EV9 from top to bottom but has remained mum on performance and technical details. However, given its targeted maximum range of 543 km and the fact that it has about 200 mm more space between the wheels than the EV6, it is anticipated that the maximum battery capacity will be in the neighborhood of 100 kWh from launch.
While the EV9 shares its 800V-equipped E-GMP platform with the EV6 and sister Hyundai Ioniq 5, it will be capable of rapid-charging at 350kW to deliver 100km of range in only six minutes and will come as standard with vehicle-to-load reverse-charging capabilities.
Similar to its platform sibling, the EV9 will be offered at launch with a choice of rear- and four-wheel-drive powertrain options across a simple selection of variants and trim levels. It is anticipated that the range will be topped off at launch by a twin-motor GT-Line S variant with an estimated 0-100kph time of 5.0sec.
To compete with the BMW iX M60 and Mercedes-AMG EQS SUV, a full-fat EV9 GT will be released shortly after, with the ability to produce more power than the EV6’s 577hp.
It is the first completely new Kia, created under the direction of ex-BMW stylist Karim Habib, who said that all next models will be aesthetically connected in an evident way, rather than the company adopting a “Russian doll” strategy for its lineup.
The production-spec EV9 has softened some of the show car’s sharpest edges while remaining largely faithful to the radical concept Kia displayed in Los Angeles in 2021 in terms of its silhouette and distinguishing design cues. However, it rides noticeably closer to the ground thanks to a much thicker battery pack and 21-inch wheels in place of the concept’s 23-inch wheels.
Yet in the end, compared to the rakish, low-slung EV6, the EV9 is far more clearly identifiable as a specialist SUV. The EV9 features a hefty, glossy or matte black body shell with a two-box design, accentuating some of the less traditional characteristics that allude to the EV9’s electric underpinnings.
The EV9’s distinctive trapezoidal creases on its rear quarters, its visibly stretched greenhouse (possibly caused by the absence of an engine), kinked rear window line, its choice of striking new wheel designs, and – most obviously – its “star map” LED light signatures at the front and rear are some of its defining cues that will influence future models.
The most recent iteration of Kia’s tiger face grille makes its appearance here as well, however, it no longer requires engine cooling and instead is a sizable smooth surface that may be embellished with programmable LED light patterns streaming through from behind, as was the case with the concept.
To give the EV9 the appearance of being as broad as possible, the headlights and brake lights, which are located directly on the corners of the body and are angled vertically, also play an essential design role.
The EV9’s updated dashboard is topped with a large digital panel that has three panels for the driver and passenger to utilize. These screens have the most extensive range of connectivity-enabled features ever, and they are flanked by two digital rear-view mirror displays.
In the meanwhile, the EV’s flat floor allows for novel packing strategies as well as improved flexibility in addition to the extra room at the top level. The swiveling middle row of the EV9 (only available on six-seat models) enables the four back passengers to face each other while driving. This feature is unique in this sector and increases the EV9’s appeal outside of the market for traditional family vehicles.
Tray tables on the backs of the front seats, a digital temperature control panel for the back passengers, and a separate “Automode” that provides the highest level of assistance driving currently offered on a Kia all serve to bolster the vehicle’s executive credentials.
The full-size Kia EV9 Electric SUV is not likely to arrive in India any time soon, but Kia already sells the EV6 there and is planning to launch a number of mass-market EVs specifically for the country in the coming years.
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