New 2023 Kia EV9 electric SUV revealed soon

The Kia EV9 electric SUV is inching towards its production debut. Its imminent reveal is prefaced by two teaser videos released by Kia, showing off the silhouette and the production-spec lighting.

This is a big e-SUV – dwarfing even the Kia Sorento and on a par with the US-market Telluride. Expect prices to be similarly ambitious, stretching to £60k and beyond (depending on spec) as the Koreans target the likes of the new seven-seat Volvo EX90 and Tesla Model X.

Happily, the videos show that the exterior design has barely changed from the days of the concept car, with animated lighting at the front and a properly boxy silhouette. We suspect the interior will not be as dramatic as the concept car, however.


Hasn’t Kia already shown its EV9?

Not in full, no. Kia released its own ‘spy’ pictures of the production version of its new EV9 all-electric SUV earlier in 2022, as it progresses through its testing regime (below). The new seven-seater is coming to market in the second half of 2023, ahead of a formal debut very soon.

The Korean brand is on a roll at present, going from making good-value-if-plain cars to properly desirable ones like the Stinger GT and EV6 – one of our favourite electric cars right now.

Its new EV9 sets to continue that upward trend. Given it’s a seven-seat SUV, it’ll sit above the EV6 in Kia’s electric line-up and, because it’ll be based on a stretched version of the EV6’s e-GMP underpinnings, it’ll have the same 800-volt electrical system. That means superfast charging speeds – the EV6, for example, can charge from empty to 80 percent in just 18 minutes.

Kia hasn’t yet told us how far the EV9 will be able to travel on a single charge but, to be competitive in the market, it’ll need a maximum range of around 300 miles. That would put it well ahead of the 260-mile Mercedes EQB, but behind the 348-mile Tesla Model X.

This isn’t an unreasonable goal, though. Kia’s engineers have an extra 300mm of space to use between the EV9’s axles, which means there’s plenty of room for a bigger battery. Kia’s also keen for the new EV9 to be a proper off-roader rather than a soft SUV, as part of its testing trials see it being thrashed on the rough stuff.

Clever stuff. What else do we know about the 2023 Kia EV9?

Quite a lot, but most of it is marketing fluff linked to the striking EV9 Concept (below). For example, the brand’s design team told us that the EV9 Concept’s styling is ‘inspired by water.’ No, we couldn’t figure that one out either. Normally, when water is this solid and blocky, it’s bobbing around the Arctic Ocean with a family of polar bears riding on it.

Apparently, the EV9 is all about ‘serenity, calmness and wellbeing,’ as well as being one with the planet. And while all of that might sound like an extract from the hippie handbook, there’s some genuinely clever sustainable engineering underneath the EV9’s surface.

The concept’s flooring is made from recycled fishing nets, the seat upholstery is made from recycled plastic and the ‘leather’ you see in the cabin didn’t come from a cow. It’s a vegan alternative that kicks off Kia’s plans to gradually reduce the use of animal leather in its vehicles.

Kia also says that the Concept’s cabin has a trio of modes that can transform the car’s seating layout to suit the situation. The first, called Active, makes the cabin look like your average car, with all the seats facing forward. It’s used when the car is being driven.

The second two settings can only be activated when the car is parked up. Pause mode rotates the front seats to face the rear, and the middle row of seats fold into a table, which Kia says makes the interior feel more like a ‘first class lounge.’

The third setting is called Enjoy mode. It rotates all of the seats to face the rear of the vehicle and opens the tailgate, which Kia says gives ‘all occupants the opportunity to connect with the outside environment and gaze ahead and beyond the vehicle while sitting comfortably.’ Nice idea, but we’re not sure why that couldn’t be done looking out of the windscreen.

Whether any of these modes will make it to the production version is a different story. A stolen glimpse inside a prototype at the Nurburgring rather suggests a much plainer, more conventional interior is planned…

Any fancy technology to report on the EV9 concept car?

Plenty. The dashboard features an ultra-wide 27-inch display, which has a series of menus to control the car’s climate controls and media functions. The various menus can be navigated using touch-sensitive buttons on the dashboard.

Kia has also updated its ‘Tiger Nose’ grille for the electric era, swapping its grille vents for a solid body-coloured panel with pixel-art style daytime running lights. However, when the car is switched off, those pixels become invisible – and the grille just looks like a normal panel.

See that massive vent in the bonnet, too? Well, it’s not a vent – it’s actually a solar panel that Kia says can trickle charge the car’s battery pack. Naturally, the amount of electricity it can harvest is small because of its size, but every little helps.

Bear in mind that everything mentioned so far relates to the concept, so some of it (such as the revolving seats) will be excluded on the production model for reasons of cost, practicality and safety. However, there’s a good chance those sustainability ideas will come good.

Full design unveil coming March 15th! Can’t wait!!!


source: car mag