Before the full unveiling later this month, Kia has provided a glimpse of the EV9 seven-seater’s bold exterior design with these moody teaser shots
Kia’s all-electric ‘EV’ range rollout started with the EV6, and the Korean brand has a further nine electric vehicles in the pipeline until 2027. The first of these new models will be the large EV9 SUV: a seven-seater underpinned by the firm’s modular E-GMP platform, which Kia has teased ahead of its reveal in mid-March.
A previous set of official images depicted a prototype EV9 as it neared the latter stages of development, and as confirmed by these latest shots, the production version will bear a close resemblance to the EV9 Concept from 2021. The show car’s upright stance and boxy proportions will make it to showrooms, along with its intricate LED headlight design made up of several L-shaped elements.
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The front end will also adopt Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ graphic, albeit without a traditional front grille. At the rear, the tail lights will extend along the D-pillars and up to a small roof spoiler.
Spy shots of EV9 test mules indicate that the concept’s stocky wheel arch extensions will make production, although its enormous triangle-design 22-inch wheels have been swapped for more conventional 21-inch items.
The EV9’s exterior design and cabin will break cover later this month, with full technical details being revealed towards the end of March.
Kia EV9 Concept interior
The EV9’s interior is expected to draw inspiration from the concept car’s radical seven-seat cabin, albeit heavily watered down and without its suicide doors. A 27-inch widescreen display would be one of the largest screens fitted to a production car (still smaller than the 31-inch unit in the new BMW 7 Series, however), and it’ll sit high up on the dash. We also expect a fairly minimalist cabin design, with few physical buttons but don’t think the concept’s one-spoke, oval steering wheel will come to market.
The Concept EV9 has a heavy focus on sustainability and the interior fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and wool fibre. The floor incorporates old fishing nets and the firm says it plans on phasing out all animal leather in its cars. We’re not sure how much of this will find its way into the production EV9.
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In the Concept EV9 the cabin can actually change its layout depending on which of its three settings is selected. There’s ‘Active Mode’ for a traditional driver-focused set-up, while ‘Pause Mode’ can be used when the car is stationary – rotating the front and third-row seats around, turning the second row into a table to mimic a “first-class lounge''. ‘Enjoy Mode’ sees all three rows of seats face the tailgate, which opens to give occupants “the opportunity to connect with the outside environment”. While the EV9 will probably stop short of rotating the seats, we think there’ll be a selection of modes to alter the cabin’s feel.
At 4,930mm long, 2,055mm wide and 1,790mm tall, the Concept EV9 is larger than the Kia Sorento SUV, the firm’s range-topping model in the UK and 1cm shorter than the North American-market Telluride. Unsurprisingly, it will sit above the EV6 in Kia’s electric SUV range, offering three-row seating to rival the likes of the Mercedes EQB and upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 7.
Just like the Ioniq 7 that’s due in 2023, the EV9 will be based on the modular E-GMP platform. This means we could see the EV6’s 77.4kWh battery being made available for the EV9.
The EV6 has a maximum range of 328 miles, so expect a bit less in the EV9 due to its extra size and weight if this pack is carried over. Of course, Kia could enlarge the battery for this bigger, heavier and less aerodynamic model, with the larger wheelbase providing scope for this in future as well.
Just like the EV6, the EV9 should also offer single and dual-motor options, while its 800V electrical architecture will allow super fast charging speeds of up to 350kW. The EV6 can recharge its battery from empty to 80 per cent in 18 minutes.
The Concept EV9 is a core part of Kia’s plan to become a “Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider”. It aims to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the firm’s value chain by 2045 – through logistics, vehicle production, vehicle use and disposal.
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