Kia has officially confirmed that the production version of the EV9 concept will be sold in Europe starting from 2023, alongside its availability in the North American and Asian markets. The fully electric EV9 will be the first large SUV in Kia’s European range, taking the role of a flagship in terms of footprint, design and hi-tech features.
The production version is expected to retain similar proportions and footprint to the concept car from 2021, with a toned down design. The EV9 concept measured 4,930 mm (194 inches) long, 2,055 mm (81 inches) wide, and 1,790 mm (70 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 3,100 mm (122 inches). This makes it roughly the same size as the ICE-powered BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE which are classified as mid-size SUVs in Europe.
The SUV incorporates Kia’s “Opposites United” design language that debuted in the EV6 and will gradually expand to the entire range. More specifically for the EV9, designers were inspired by the “Bold for Nature” theme, combining the rugged and angular surfacing of the exterior with a spacious and tech-filled three-row cabin.
Some features that could be toned down in the production model include the 22-inch wheels, the large number of LEDs on the Digital Tiger Face, the mirror-replacing cameras, the scissor doors, and the futuristic interior layout with free-standing seats. The model will, however, look pretty similar overall, and retain the concept car’s focus on practicality and sustainability in terms of the materials used.
In the technology department, the EV9 will be the first model to introduce Kia’s “AutoMode” autonomous driving technology which will be eventually expanded to be available for all models in major markets by 2026. The ADAS suite will include the sophisticated Highway Driving Pilot system that will allegedly allow driving without human intervention on the highway.
We are not sure if the production EV9 will retain the massive 27-inch ultra-wide touchscreen of the concept, but it will definitely have an advanced infotainment system. Kia said it will be its first production model to receive over-the-air updates (OTA) and integrate feature-on-demand (FoD) services which will allow the owner to select from a range of software-enabled functions available at a certain cost. Again, the connected car features that will debut in the EV9 will be rolled down to Kia’s entire range by 2025.
Kia has already confirmed that the Kia EV9 – alongside its Hyundai Ioniq 7 sibling – will be based on a stretched version of the E-GMP platform and not in its evolved version called Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA) which will arrive in 2025. Kia hasn’t given us details on the electric powertrain but it will most likely consist of dual motors offering all-wheel-drive capability. Despite the size of the SUV, the company says the EV9 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5 seconds. A large capacity floor-mounted battery will allow a range of 540 km (336 miles), with ultra-fast charging adding 100 km (62 miles) of range in six minutes.