Kia EV9 Electric SUV

Kia EV9 Electric SUV

Kia began the second phase of its electrification strategy by introducing the Kia EV6, its first ‘born EV’ in 2021. Many more dedicated Kia electric car models are coming by 2027, including a flagship SUV called the Kia EV9. As its 2023 launch approaches, the Kia EV9 electric SUV is slowly shedding its camouflage. Our latest look comes from a spy photographer who caught the EV9 testing at the Nurbürgring. It shows off some additional details that were previously covered up with thick wrappings.

On the whole, the EV9 is looking a bit rounder and softer than its concept (don’t we all, though?). In fact, the wheel arches are actually round, rather than the more trapezoidal concept arches. It also looks like it sits lower and has proportions more like a front-drive-based SUV.

Here’s a look at the expected specifications, design, and interior of the Kia EV9.

Kia EV9 Electric SUV Specifications

Max. System Power 308 HP
Battery Pack 100 kWh
Range 300 miles
DC Charging Power 350 kW
Charging Time (10-80)% 20-30 min
Solar Panel Yes (Built into the hood vent duct area)
V2L Yes
Wireless Charging (Vehicle) Yes
Length 194 Inch
Width 81 Inch
Height 90 Inch
Wheelbase 122 Inch
Driveline RWD/AWD

The Kia EV9’s exterior dimensions should be similar to those of the Kia Concept EV9. For reference, the concept measures 194 inches in length, 81 inches in width, and 70 inches in height. It has a wheelbase of 122 inches.

E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Power)

The Kia EV9 will sit on Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform. The version used in the EV9, shared with the Hyundai Ioniq 7, should be the largest version of the dedicated EV platform. The flagship model should reap almost all advantages of the E-GMP platform, including high-voltage batteries, multi (400V and 800V) and bi-directional charging system, long wheelbase, short front, and rear overhangs, and a low center of gravity.

E-GMP relies on the rear wheel for propulsion, so motive power goes to the rear wheels. Customers can opt for a second electric motor that powers the front wheels, creating an all-wheel drive drivetrain layout for more grip. E-GMP platform models use a standardized battery module that consists of pouch-type standard cells. It is possible to pack the battery module in different quantities as per the required range, though.

Kia EV9 Range & charging

Kia has said that the range of the Concept EV9 is 300 miles. America’s Chief Operating Officer Steven Center told Motor Authority on the sidelines of the 2022 New York International Auto Show that the production EV9 will need about 300 miles of range as that’s the “sweet spot or minimum entry for a larger vehicle.” 350 kW is the maximum supported DC charging power, and charging from 10 to 80% takes 20-30 minutes in the concept. These charging figures should be the approximate targets for the production EV9. Moreover, the EV9 will support an 800-volt system that would enable faster charging speeds.

Additionally, the EV9 would also support bidirectional charging, which is called V2L (Vehicle-to-Load) in HMG speak. Customers will be able to plug external appliances to EV9’s charging port and power devices using the EV’s battery. We have already seen E-GMP-based cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 support this feature.

Battery & Motor configuration of Kia EV9 Electric SUV

Hyundai reportedly plans to offer the Ioniq 7 in single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD configurations, with the latter packing 308 horsepower. Kia may use the same motors with similar tuning in the EV9. Another common core component between the two large SUVs could be a 100 kWh battery pack which could be more compact and lighter than current units, using new lithium-ion cells with a higher energy density of around 700 Wh/l compared to the present lithium-ion cells with 600 Wh/l energy density.

Talking about the Kia EV9 Electric SUV at the 2022 Kia CEO Investor Day, Kia President & CEO Ho Sung Song said that the production Kia EV9 Electric SUV will offer a range of 540 km (336 miles) presumably as per the South Korean test cycle) and be able to travel 100 km (62 miles) with just 6 minutes of charging. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint will take just 5 seconds.

Design of Kia EV9 Electric SUV

In an era of low-riding, sleek electric SUVs that sacrifice core SUV traits in the name of efficiency, the EV9 would be among the few that offer the same dominating presence as any large SUV. It features a partly flat, high-set hood, straight-ish beltline, roofline, and slightly hunched rear section.

Kia EV9 Electric SUV

The Kia Concept Kia EV9 Electric SUV features a traditional SUV shape, but its design is a work of modern art and sets a contrasting tone. The Kia EV9 Electric SUV balances its classic silhouette with a contemporary styling achieved with technical-looking headlamps and tail lamps, geometric shapes on the body panels, and three-spoke wheels. A large, oval-shaped, seamless glass integrated into the roof lets plenty of light inside the cabin and provides unobstructed views of the sky.

Reinterpreted Tiger Face

One of the Concept EV9’s design highlights is the digital Tiger Face, which Kia has approved for the production EV9. The company says it has reinterpreted its iconic design cue for the EV era. A new type of grille houses an intricate star pattern display, which hides behind the body panel of the SUV when not in use. It’s a light show highlighting the futuristic nature of the concept. The driver gets a greeting with sequential patterns that generate a welcome light and double as position lights during driving.

An exterior design element worth noting is the hood vent duct area, which Kia has utilized as a solar panel. This helps recuperate some electric energy when the vehicle is in open-space parking or on the move in the daylight. Retractable roof rails also have our attention, raisable when needed with just a touch of a button and resting at all other times, allowing a smooth airflow over the SUV.

80-90 percent of the concept’s design preserved in the production car

Kia America Chief Designer Tom Kearns told Motor Authority that about 80-90% of the concept’s exterior design will make it to production, reported the publication on April 20, 2022. If that’s the case, the Kia EV9 would appear nearly as striking and futuristic as the concept. Expect the production version to shed the full wheel covers and the accentuated elements on the rear bumper. It may also come with thicker A, B and C pillar to meet safety regulations, and will not carry forward the pillarless interior.

Kia EV9 Interior

The Kia EV9 will likely provide comfortable seating for up to seven passengers. It would be a proper three-row electric SUV, offering a zero-emission alternative to typical gas-powered American mid-size models. The interior could carry a minimalist theme that helps it look futuristic and improves the space level and eco-friendliness. Kia could employ recycled plastics and wool, plant-based (bio PET) yarns and natural wool yarns, plant-based extracts, and other new types of eco-friendly, sustainably sourced materials for many of the interior touchpoints.

The interior of the Kia Concept EV9 is highly conceptual, although its core design and layout should make it to the production-oriented Kia EV9. From the oblong steering wheel to the low-profile horizontal dashboard, the (27-inch) ultra-wide display combining functions of a traditional instrument panel and an infotainment system, the omission of analog controls, and the touch-operated digital controls integrated into the dashboard, everything here is futuristic.

Display of Kia EV9 Electric SUV

The production Kia EV9 Electric SUV will also feature a 27-inch ultra-wide display, Kia has confirmed. Back to the concept version, except for the highly practical large floor console that likely houses plenty of cubby storage spaces, the interior is purposefully compact.

The Concept EV9 offers three rows of seats in alterable layouts. It provides an optimal driving experience in an Active mode. Then there’s a Pause Mode, transforming the cabin into a first-class lounge. The front seats swivel so that the driver and front passenger can face the rear passengers, and the second-row seats fold down and become a table. There’s one more stationary mode, called Enjoy. In this mode, the tailgate opens, and the occupants can relax by enjoying the outside environment. Kia has confirmed that the production EV9 will feature swivel seats that can rotate 90 degrees.

Sustainable materials

Kia has used recycled and sustainable materials in the interior of the Concept EV9. It has made the seats and fabric out of recycled plastic bottles and wool fiber and the flooring from fishing nets. The company chose vegan leather for the interior to reduce animal skin processing and create a smaller carbon footprint. Like Volvo Cars, Kia intends to phase out leathers in all vehicles. It has said that it will use fishnet debris, recycled plastic, and other eco-friendly materials in the production EV9.

Space

On March 21, 2022, KCB reported that the interior space on the Kia EV9 would be generous. Cabin space is another area where bespoke electric platforms shine. The E-GMP is known to open up acres of room for rear seat passengers and luggage; the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a fine example when you compare to an equivalent gas-powered crossover. KCB states that the second and third row of seats will offer the same space as the Kia Carnival. The report adds that the third row will be more spacious than regular ICE-powered 7-seaters. However, the initial test mules (yet to be photographed) will have captain seats in the second row—they will be 6-seaters.

Kia EV9 Electric SUV GT

You don’t often hear ‘GT’ when reading about a large boxy SUV like the EV9, but every Kia EV series model will have a GT variant, the brand has confirmed. Kia suggests that while GT means “overwhelming acceleration” and “high performance” for a sedan or a CUV (like the EV6), for an SUV (like the EV9), it could translate to “rich performance.” The EV9 GT may come exclusively in a twin-motor e-AWD variant with the largest battery pack Kia can offer.

Features of Kia EV9 Electric SUV

Wireless charging

One of the Kia EV9’s attractive features could be wireless vehicle charging. Hyundai Motor Group is developing this technology and plans to test it in the Genesis GV60. By the time the Kia EV9 arrives in the market, the first commercially deployable version of the new-age EV charging technology could be ready. In addition to a wall-box charger, EV9 customers might be able to install a wireless vehicle charger at home. Note that this feature may not be restricted to a few markets.

V2L (Vehicle-to-Load)

V2L, thanks to the E-GMP platform’s bi-directional charging support, would be possible in the Kia EV9. It should be possible to supply at least 3.6 kW of electricity and power camping equipment, a home appliance, a movie projector, a laptop, or another electric vehicle.

Smart Glass in Kia EV9

The production Kia EV9 will be available with Smart Glass, which allows adjusting the level of roof transparency. With this technology, each occupant of a vehicle can keep an individual setting for the amount of natural light that gets into the cabin through the sunroof.

Connectivity of Kia EV9

Kia is working on a connectivity solution called Car Cloud. The company says that with centralized, integrated, and high-performance controller design, Car Cloud will help it achieve flexibility in connected car development. It may use Car Cloud for the connectivity solutions of the EV9.

With fewer hardware components and increased software control over the functioning of hardware in electric vehicles compared to ICE vehicles, Kia wants to reduce its recall and campaign costs. The company wants to leverage OTA technology. For EV9 customers, this could mean fewer visits to the service center and no more of the long service periods, as say, Telluride customers. It will likely be possible to update the EV’s Vehicle Control Unit, Airbag Control Unit, Motor Driven Power Steering, and other controllers over the air.

In addition to OTA updates, the production EV9 will include FoD (Feature on Demand) services. Customers will be able to purchase separate individual software functions and activate them. Software, content, and services have the potential to become a major revenue stream for automakers in the era of highly software-controlled pure electric vehicles. Kia says that it is working on commercializing new technologies like autonomous driving and OTA that have a chance of becoming a vital contributor to income growth in the mid/long term.

Level 3 autonomous driving

The Kia EV9 will feature AutoMode, the company’s upcoming autonomous driving system. This will mark the start of the second phase in Kia’s autonomous technology roadmap. OTA update, NSCC (Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control) with HD maps, Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), and Auto Lane Change will be the highlights of AutoMode in the Kia EV9. In 2025 or later, AutoMode will offer full autonomous driving.

HDP is a major autonomous driving Level 3 development that would provide hands-free driving without requiring driver intervention on highways. We will get to see HDP in action later in 2023 in the Genesis G90. HDP will use a LiDAR in addition to the conventional camera and radar equipment. The autonomous driving system would be able to detect objects 400 meters (1,300 feet) away.

Another tech highlight of the Kia EV9 would be an NVIDIA DRIVE infotainment system. Hyundai Motor Group and NVIDIA have collaborated to develop NVIDIA DRIVE infotainment systems for models from all three HMG brands – Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. The partnership will allow the South Korean auto giant to deploy its upcoming ‘connected car Operating System’ (ccOS), which it has developed in-house.

Other available features in the Kia EV9 could be a solar panel roof, virtual mirrors (digital mirrors), face recognition, fingerprint reader, and Digital Key 3.0 with Ultra-Wideband technology.

Production

The ETNews report mentioned at the beginning of the story said that the production of the Kia MV will take place at the AutoLand Gwangmyeong plant in South Korea. Formerly called the Kia Sohari plant, this production facility will start making the Kia EV9 in April 2023. “The new electric vehicle to be produced in Gwangmyeong is a mid-size SUV that utilizes the dedicated electric vehicle platform E-GMP and is a model that will lead the brand,” Kia said (translated) in a briefing session for the plant’s labor union, as per the report.

Kia’s AutoLand Gwangmyeong plant has an annual production capacity of 320,000 units. This factory is currently responsible for the Carnival, K9, Stinger, and the Stonic.

On August 9, 2022, eNewsToday said in an exclusive report that Kia will temporarily suspend production at the Autoland Gwangmyeong from September 8, 2022, to October 3, 2022. The company will use this time to work on a production line for the EV9. Pre-series production could start soon after the production line is ready, although the South Korean publication didn’t say anything specifically about that.

Kia EV9 USA

On May 20, 2022, Hyundai Motor Group announced it will open a dedicated EV and battery manufacturing facility in Bryan County Megasite, (Georgia), USA. The company will invest USD 5.54 billion in this plant, and its suppliers will invest an additional USD 1 billion in the project. It will be a 2,923-acre site, and its construction would begin in January 2023. HMG expects full production to begin in H1 2025, with an annual capacity of 300,000 units. The company will establish the battery manufacturing facility with a strategic partnership, which could be with SK On.

Hyundai could manufacture the U.S.-spec Kia EV9 at the new electric vehicle plant built in Georgia, said a report from Reuters on May 9, 2022. The U.S.-spec Hyundai Ioniq 7 and EV9 will roll out of the new factory, three sources told Reuters.

Kia EV9 Release Date

Kia plans to launch the EV9 in South Korea in April 2023, Kwon Hyuk-ho, the vice president of the company’s domestic business unit, said at the 2022 Busan International Motor Show on July 14, 2022, as reported by Hankookilbo the same day. In the U.S., sales will start in the second half of 2023, as Russell Wager, Vice President – Marketing, Kia America, stated at the New York International Auto Show 2022 on April 13, 2022.

Kia EV9 Price

The prices of the Kia EV9 could start at around USD 50,000.

Kia EV9 Concept

Kia Corporation has stunned onlookers at the AutoMobility LA with the reveal of its all-electric SUV concept, the Kia Concept EV9. Seen as the clearest signal yet from Kia as to what might be the next addition to its new-generation EV lineup, the Concept EV9 epitomizes the brand’s recent leadership in designing and developing desirable, high-tech, zero-emissions vehicles.

Just like the EV6, the Concept EV9 is known as a dedicated EV from Kia, having been carefully developed and optimized on the company’s advanced Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).

Concept EV9 embodies Kia’s commitment to sustainable mobility solutions, having recently showcased the company’s future vision at the ‘Kia Sustainability Movement’ digital presentation. The design of the vehicle was inspired by nature and uses upcycled materials developed from waste deposited into the fragile marine ecosystem.

The SUV also offers striking visual aesthetics thanks to Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy.

The Kia design team was especially influenced by the ‘Bold for Nature’ pillar of Opposites United. This has helped the all-electric SUV concept to take on an iconic and bold form, meshing logical and emotional qualities with playful, rugged features and styling cues.

“The Kia Concept EV9 is yet another important marker for us in what has been an incredible journey since the start of the year. Having made our intentions clear – to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions – today we are proud to show the world our all-electric SUV concept, which fuses together an advanced zero-emissions powertrain, a cutting-edge exterior design and a contemporary and innovative tech-based interior space,” said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center.

The shape of things to come

Concept EV9 represents a next possible iteration for the SUV. Developed on the advanced E-GMP architecture – the Concept EV9 is a high-tech, family-friendly vehicle that is powered by a zero-emissions all-electric powertrain.

It blends a stunning exterior profile with a modern and sleek interior space that is influenced with state-of-the-art tech. The incredible aesthetics of the Concept EV9 – both inside and out – have been carefully honed from Opposites United, Kia’s new design philosophy.

Taking inspiration from the ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar of Opposites United, the Concept EV9 embodies an adventurous, outgoing and recreational form with its rugged and upright stance. From the outside, such proportions help outline a three-row SUV footprint, signifying a vehicle that is highly capable, practical and ready for action.

From the side, this modernistic angular profile gives the all-electric SUV a simple but distinctive outline that is deeply rooted in the ‘Bold for Nature’ pillar of Opposites United.

A low gravity side body creates maximum and instant impact with the sharp crystalline inspired fender volumes that sit high up on the vehicle. This low side body profiling effect makes the fender volumes of the Concept EV9 pop out, resulting in a strong SUV stance.

Contrasting with its muscular on-road presence, soft and welcoming volumes across the body of the Concept EV9 are offset with sharp and neatly edged elements. Solid rock geometry is expressed through a sophisticated design distribution of mass, while the volume of the soft fuselage cabin has been made to feel welcoming and approachable.

Tiger Face goes digital

Kia’s iconic Tiger Face facade has been reinterpreted for the BEV era and is showcased on the Concept EV9.

The new Digital Tiger Face benefits from the fact that all-electric vehicles don’t need the traditional grille that ICE vehicles rely upon, resulting in the Concept EV9 having a full body colored front that clearly conveys sustainability values.

The new BEV-focused grille houses an intricate star cloud pattern display that is completely hidden behind the body panel of the Concept EV9 when not in use. This stylish lightshow further highlights the high-tech nature of the all-electric SUV while still paying homage to the natural world. Sequential patterns create a ‘welcome light’ for the driver and also function to appropriately position lights during driving. The star cloud pattern inspired the Kia design team to create standout vertical Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) for both the front and rear of the car, in-turn creating a unique signature look from start to finish.

The opportunities afforded with a re-styled grille and the Digital Tiger Face have resulted in a new air vent design that reduces the frontal mass of the vehicle and greatly improves aerodynamics.

The hood vent duct area is utilized as a solar panel that helps recuperate some of the electric energy that the Concept EV9 uses. This gives BEV owners an alternative source of energy when they are not close to a charging station.

Natural light

At the rear of the Concept EV9 is a compelling yet beatifically delicate triangular d-pillar treatment that acts as a visual focal point and resonates with the SUV’s angular design elements. The innovative d-pillar design also creates a unique Daylight Opening (DLO) signature.

The machined 22-inch wheels further add to the geometric appearance and robust nature of the Concept EV9. A triangular aero design piece controls the airflow around the wheel and creates a visual contrast to the circular nature of the wheel to fully express the Opposites United design philosophy, making sure a balance in harmony extends into every element and section.

To stay in tune with the environment – and tapping back into the ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar – the Concept EV9 has an all-encompassing DLO panoramic sky roof. This not only offers passengers relaxing views from above but also opens the potential for positive impact on wellness and mood.

The beautifully sleek glass structure creates a direct connection to the outside environment, be that sunshine flooding into the cabin on a blue-sky day, the tranquil sound of rain during a weekend drive in autumn or the calming feel of the luminous glow of moonlight and the stars on a cloudless evening.

Transformative interior space

Against a wellbeing, wellness and mindfulness backdrop, the Concept EV9 has been carefully crafted to offer the driver and passengers a transformative interior space as the journey experience evolves.

Mirroring the exterior design, the interior of the Concept EV9 has also been greatly influenced by the ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar of Opposites United.

Inside the all-electric SUV is a design undertaking that integrates the qualities of nature, movement and stillness as part of a scenic, first-class lounge. The panoramic roof, with its sky-gazing views, further adds to the sense of lightness and being in contact with the environment.

This sense of ‘tomorrow’ extends from the visionary interior design and into the steering wheel. The automotive industry today treats the steering wheel like a separate product – a total standalone subsystem; the Concept EV9, however, takes a radically different approach in which the pop-up steering pad is an extension of – and integrated and harmonized within – the interior space.

Innovative interior modes when not moving

The interior of the Concept EV9 explores new perspectives as the journey experience evolves. The all-electric SUV has three forward-thinking interior modes that capture different journey situations and requirements.

Active Mode is when the Concept EV9 is on the move, making sure the driver and passengers have an optimal driving experience from within the all-electric SUV.

The two other modes relate to when the Concept EV9 is not moving.

Pause Mode modifies the interior space to be more akin to a first-class lounge, giving occupants the opportunity to directly interact with each other while benefiting from the light streaming in from the wide panoramic roof. In this mode, the seats switch around to enable occupants seated in the first-row and third-row to face each other. The second-row seats fold down and become a table, completing the first-class lounge arrangement.

The second stationary mode is Enjoy Mode, which opens the interior into a downtime breakout space by turning around the three-row seat configuration. In this mode, the tailgate opens, giving all occupants the opportunity to connect with the outside environment and gaze ahead and beyond the vehicle while sitting comfortable inside the all-electric SUV.

Inspired by water

The Concept EV9 features a design inspired by taking note of the simplicity and perfection of nature, and how it contrasts and works together in perfect harmony. In this respect, the Concept EV9 took further inspiration from the ‘Water Element’ of Opposites United, taking on characteristics that relate to serenity, calmness and wellbeing. For example, the exterior color mimics the expansive depth of the ocean; this is then balanced by a soothing and clear blue sky that radiates throughout the interior.

The ‘Water Element’ ethos also came to the fore when the Kia design team was looking at sustainable and ecological materials for use in the Concept EV9. Recycled fishnets have been used to help create the flooring of the vehicle and seating fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled wool fibers. Also, vegan leather, which is far more ethical and sustainable compared to conventional animal leather, was used throughout the interior space. Kia plans to gradually reduce the use of animal leather in all its vehicles.

Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider

Kia recently announced its corporate vision to become a “Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider,” along with the intention to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the company’s value chain by 2045 at the ‘Kia Sustainability Movement’ event on November 11. The three-pillared carbon neutrality goal consists of commitments to “Sustainable Mobility,” “Sustainable Planet” and “Sustainable Energy”. The strategy encompasses processes from logistics, vehicle production, vehicle use and the disposal of waste. The Concept EV9 embodies an important part of this strategy as the next possible addition to Kia’s high-tech BEV line-up.

Kia EV strategy in the U.S.

Globally Kia plans to launch no at least two EVs every year and expand its EV line-up to 14 models by 2027. The new EV launches will include two electric truck models, one of which will be a dedicated model and the other a strategic model (presumably converted from an ICE pickup truck).

United States will receive one new Kia EV every year until the end of the decade, Eric Watson, Vice President – Sales Operations, Kia America, has confirmed, as per an Automotive News report dated June 17, 2022. Kia America will expand its EV line-up to eight models by 2029 in the U.S., as per the report. It aims to convert 30% of its sales to EVs by the end of the decade and increase that figure to 50% early next decade, Watson said.

Such high conversion rates will demand a rethink of its sales and marketing plan. For a start, the company is developing a network of showrooms and service centers in the U.S. that deals exclusively in EVs.

Demand for Kia’s electrified vehicles is growing significantly in the U.S. market. In 2021, sales of hybrid and pure electric Kia models in the country grew 97% year-over-year. Including both non-electrified and electrified models, Kia’s U.S. sales in 2021 totaled 701,416 units. This was the first time it sold more than 700,000 vehicles in the

country, plus a solid 20% increase in annual sales from 2020.

With the Kia Sportage Hybrid and EV6 now part of the lineup, the demand for electrified Kias in America should continue rising.

What is the Kia EV9 release date?

The Kia EV9 will debut in 2023, and it will go on sale in the U.S. in H2 2023.

Which models will be Kia EV9 rivals?

The Kia EV9 will compete with the Hyundai Ioniq 7, VW ID.6, Vinfast VF 9, Ford Explorer Electric, and perhaps even the BYD Tang EV in the global market.

What is the expected Kia EV9 price?

Expect the Kia EV9 to start at around USD 50,000 in the U.S. market.

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