Kia unveils production design of the EV9, its 7-passenger electric SUV
In March 2022, Kia announced, during its annual Investor Day, a day of meetings between Kia management and the company’s most important investors, that the company would offer 14 electric vehicles worldwide by 2027. an ambitious statement to say the least in a context where several manufacturers are struggling to offer an electric vehicle. But this statement nevertheless seems to be taking shape with the aesthetic unveiling of the Kia EV9. This first electric SUV with three rows of seats from Kia joins the brand’s 3 other electric vehicles, namely the Kia EV6, the Kia Soul EV and the Kia Niro EV. The EV9 will therefore become the 4e electric vehicle from Kia, and its arrival on the Canadian market could take place by the fall of 2023.
A complementary exterior look
Kia used the design philosophy that the manufacturer called “opposites united”. This graphic ideology wants to combine the natural and modern character of today’s car design. In other words, Kia is looking to give the EV9 a tough yet stylish design.
This stylistic line is amusingly reminiscent of the design of a vehicle in the Kia lineup, the Telluride. Looking at the front angle of the vehicle, the EV9 exhibits traits familiar to the Telluride in a few aspects. The huge hood, square features and small cube-shaped LED headlights are elements reminiscent of the popular South Korean SUV. That said, the EV9 has a different look that still stands out from its thermal engine brother.
Nicknamed the tiger snout, the grille of the Kia EV9 follows the stylistic line of the manufacturer’s electric vehicles. The absence of an air intake found on thermal engine vehicles testifies to the electric character of the SUV. LED lights named “Star Map” on the front of the vehicle are slim, but imposing.
In profile, the EV9 is trimmed with rectangular surfaces that can give the SUV a futuristic look. The triangular-shaped fenders, the windows, the handles integrated into the doors and square-design wheels give the EV9 a robust and elegant character, according to Kia. At the rear, the tailgate is massive, and the long, thin taillights recall the behemoth’s front.
To develop the concept and design of the vehicle, Kia used the E-GMP platform. This architecture is dedicated exclusively to the group’s electric vehicles. The Kia EV6 is also assembled on this platform.
The interior of the Kia EV9 is all about space. Kia initially used the E-GMP platform to take advantage of a flat floor, thereby allowing good legroom for each vehicle occupant. Moreover, it will be possible to determine how many occupants you want to transport, because the EV9 will be offered in a 6 or 7-seater configuration. The wheelbase as well as the SUV’s low beltline mean that the EV9 is able to offer 3 rows of comfortable seats, again according to the manufacturer.
The driver will be able to use two 12.3-inch screens in front of him to navigate the infotainment system and to track driving data. The screens are also new generation, and the physical buttons in the cabin are reduced to a minimum.
For convenience, Kia confirms that the EV9 will be modular. The backrest of the two sets of rear seats can be folded down, which would give access to a voluminous trunk. Interestingly, not yet confirmed for the North American market, the second-row seats can rotate 180 degrees to face the third-row seats.
Offering 7 seats and, above all, electric, the EV9 should be one of the pioneers in the niche, provided that the acquisition price remains reasonable. Although Tesla and Rivian offer electric and three-row alternatives, the price of the vehicles offered by the two manufacturers remains too high to be called affordable. Within two weeks, the South Korean manufacturer should unveil the global technical characteristics of the EV9. It will therefore be interesting to see the motorization and, who knows, perhaps the price of this highly anticipated juggernaut on the market.