You’ve got to hand it to Kia’s designers when it comes to its new generation of EVs. The EV6 is a striking car – and a very good EV – but the EV9 SUV takes things to another level.
‘Bold’ is possibly an understatement, but it’s the word that Kia itself is using to describe the EV9 which is inspired by the brand’s ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar of the overarching ‘Opposites united’ design language. It’s unashamedly upright and boxy – a Kia Soul on steroids and wearing platform shoes.
It’s not small either. At 4930mm long it’s around 300mm longer than the EV6 and just 70mm shorter than a Range Rover. At 2055mm wide it’s fatter than both of the aforementioned cars, and stands at 1790mm tall – some 200mm taller than the EV6. The real standout figure, however, is the wheelbase which at 3100mm long makes it almost limousine-like in terms of space between the wheels.
Those wheels, which are up to 22 inches in diameter, are pushed to the corners of the car thanks to the E-GMP platform’s adaptability, and give the Kia EV9 “an aesthetically rare but visually stunning quadrilateral-like on-road presence”. Basically, the EV9 is a big rectangle.
Kia’s ‘Tiger Face’ front end has defined its cars for a while but has evolved with the times. On the EV9 it is evolving yet further with a ‘Digital Tiger Face’ thanks to the fact EVs don’t require a conventional grille. As such, the front end has full body colour, whilst the grille houses various sensors and the obligatory fancy lighting which manifests itself as a ‘star cloud’ pattern on the EV9.
Other lighting developments include a welcome light for the driver and standout vertical daytime running lights for both the front and rear of the car, which take inspiration from the star map pattern.
Elsewhere on the car, the bonnet duct vent doubles up as a solar panel, whilst retractable roof rails means there’s no aero disadvantage when they’re not in use. Camera monitoring replaces traditional mirrors for further aero gains.
Kia’s EV9 is a three-row car, meaning it will have seating for up to seven people. Forward-opening rear doors serve two purposes – to make access easier and thanks to their pillar-less nature, to make it possible to open the EV9 up when parked and improves the feeling of roominess when on the move. A panoramic roof further adds to this.
Kia wants the EV9 to be like a first-class lounge inside, and with such a lengthy wheelbase we can imagine it achieving this. Upfront is a 27 inch ultra-wide display which includes all the various controls and interfaces for both the driver and front seat passenger. Other cabin elements have been designed with a ‘Water Element’ ethos, promoting a sense of serenity and calmness. Colours and eco-friendly materials all feed into this.
Kia hasn’t stated the powertrains, connectivity or other features of the EV9 just yet, but with an on-sale date coming in 2023, we expect to have these before this year’s out. Either way, the Kia EV9 in an intriguing prospect.
Update 25.08.22: Kia has confirmed that the EV9 is in the final testing phase as part of development which has taken 44 months so far. Now undertaking a verification programme, it will see the SUV testing its 4WD system on rough terrain, deep-water wading and hill climbing. Handling, ride and roadholding has also been on test at the Namyang R&D centre in Korea, as well as locations around the globe. All of this will conclude in an official launch in the first quarter of 2023.
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