Korean car giant Kia has revealed the technical specifications for its new flagship EV9 SUV, which features a premium design intended to rival the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The machine is the follow-up to the Kia EV6 as the firm’s second bespoke electric vehicle, and will use the same advanced Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform as that machine. And like all good sequels, the EV9 is even bigger and more outlandish than its hugely successful predecessor.
Kia’s expansion plans doesn’t stop there: the firm recently unveiled the Concept EV5, which previews a boldly styled new SUV that will be launched later this year.
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Initially developed for the US and Chinese markets, Kia will launch the EV9 in the UK and Europe, where it will be one of the biggest electric SUVs on the road – and one of very few true zero-emission seven seaters.
The Kia EV9 will arrive in the UK with a 99.8kWh unit offering a range of up to 336 miles and the ability to gain 148 miles of range in just 15 minutes.
The RWD Long Range model has an output of 150kW and 258lbft of torque, while achieving the 0-62mph sprint in 9.4 seconds. Its dual-motor sibling - the AWD variant - has even more power with 283kW and 442lb ft. It can do 0-62mph in an impressive 6.0 seconds.
There's also an optional Boost Feature which gives an extra 74lb ft of torque on tap, which means the EV9 can handle a 0-62mph jaunt in 5.3 seconds.
An entry-level 76.1kWh battery option will be offered in select markets, but Kia is yet to confirm if it will make its way to the UK. A hot GT version is also on the cards, with the more potent variant set to arrive in 2025.
On the outside…
The Kia EV9 measures 5010mm long, is 1980mm wide and 1755mm tall, making it 57mm longer, 13mm wider and 59mm taller than the boldly-styled BMW iX SUV.
The big machine features angular, boxy styling and an imposing front end, which features a digital lighting pattern, vertical headlights and Kia’s new ‘digital tiger face’ made up of clusters of cube lights mounted in the bodywork.
There’s also an LED ‘star map’ that can function as daytime running lights, but also allows for animated lighting patterns.
The side profiles feature several sharp lines and creases, which have been honed to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency; despite its boxy styling the EV9 has a drag coefficient of .028.
Kia says it was able to achieve this through several new features, including a 3D-sculpted underbody cover, aerodynamic wheels, and innovative air curtains integrated into the front bumper. The range-topping GT-Line model also gets a choice of 19, 20 and 21in wheels.
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Kia’s design philosophy is labelled ‘Opposites United’, which apparently means it mixed qualities of nature with modernity. Notably, as with sister firm Hyundai, Kia is intent on giving each of its new models its own character, so the EV9 is notably different from the EV6.
Kia design chief Karim Habib says that the mode “breaks new ground, aiming to redefine standards for design, connectivity, usability and environmental responsibility.”
On the inside…
The interior utilises the flat floor of the E-GMP platform to offer plenty of space, including three full rows of seats – buyers will be able to pick from six- or seven-seat layouts.
The seats in the front two rows recline, and those in the second row can also rotate 180 degrees. The third-row seats aren’t quite so versatile, but they still get cup-holders and mobile phone charging plugs.
Up front, the minimalist theme that has become more synonymous with Kia is evident. The dashboard uses two 12.3in touchscreens and a 5in digital drivers display, with the centre console featuring a range of storage cubbies.
Kia has ramped up its use of sustainable materials in the EV9, with the SUV ditching leather fully and instead featuring recycled and plant-based materials as a replacement.
The EV9 is the firm model to feature what the firm calls ‘10 must-have sustainable items’, with the car using a high proportion of bio-based materials made from corn, sugar cane and natural oils.
New tech on the EV9
The EV9 features a number of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as the firm’s Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2).
With RSPA 2 technology, the EV9 can park itself without the need for driver intervention, whether in or out the vehicle. Using lidar and ultrasonic sensors the RSPA 2 technology can manoeuvre the car into a space all by itself; not that’s one cool party trick.
Kia’s new machine gets all the innovative technology that’s becoming more popular in electric cars, such as blind-spot, lane keeping and speed limit assistance.
The EV9 also features Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) to prevent collisions with oncoming vehicles when reversing.
The flagship SUV is set to gain a new Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system in the future, giving the EV9 Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities.
Fifteen sensors, including two lidars, enable the car to scan the road ahead and detect objects in a full 360-degree field of view. Kia is hoping to offer the HDP in the EV9 GT-line model but has not confirmed when it will be available.
Kia has not yet confirmed the pricing of its new SUV, but as its most premium offering to date, top trim models will likely command a price tag of around £80,000 while entry-level variants should cost in the region of £60,000.
Those prices would once have seemed unthinkable for a Kia model, but the success of the EV6 and the brand’s continued push upmarket in terms of design and material quality is helping to open the brand to new audiences.
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