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Kia reveals full-size EV9 electric SUV

Big, blocky three-row SUV could feature punchy 430kW dual-motor powertrain

15 Mar 2023

PRODUCTION of Kia’s big, blocky EV9 large electric SUV is about to start, with a global digital launch of the three-row SUV scheduled for later this month. However, we will have to wait a while longer for the model to lob on these shores as prime markets like the US will have first dibs.


Kia Australia’s chief operating officer Damien Meredith said he was “hopeful that 2200 units of both the EV6 and EV9 would be available for sale in 2024, the first full year on sale for the EV9. But we’d really want 2500.”


When it does arrive, the EV9 will take the mantle as Kia’s most expensive model in Australia with the probability that in GT form at least, it will eclipse the current top priced Kia EV6 GT that sits a whisker under $100K.


Price wise, it will rival a bunch of performance prestige SUVs from the likes of BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, too. All of which are pitched at over $135,000 plus on roads.


Details about the EV9 are scant but it will likely be offered locally in several guises mirroring the powertrain choices in the EV6 range. That means a halo GT model with its 430kW dual-motor configuration is likely.


Kia Australia says it is currently considering which variants of the EV9 to import, including the choice of short- and/or long-range battery versions, with general manager of product planning, Roland Rivero, telling GoAuto News the purchase price will determine such options.


Mr Rivero said the smaller EV9 battery pack should offer a driving range in the vicinity of 400km while the longer-range pack should be close to the 600km mark.


The EV9 sits above the Sorento in terms of size and will be available with three-row seating in six- or seven-seat configuration, making it a viable alternative to the Carnival people mover.


Built on an extended wheelbase (3100mm) version of the Hyundai/Kia E-GMP platform, the EV9 features a flat floor which optimises interior room for all occupants and luggage.


In a statement, Kia said the EV9 “encapsulates bold styling and sophisticated elegance inside and out” and is a “pivotal step forward in the company's journey towards becoming a sustainable mobility solutions provider”.


The bluff fronted, two-box exterior design has a bold look with some sculptural shapes to deliver a contemporary take on what is essentially a practical family hauler.


The appearance is lifted with various “devices” such as LED lighting and Kia’s signature Tiger Nose façade, now called a Digital Tiger Face. Each side features bold polygonal shapes pressed into the metal for a crisp, less slab-sided look. Flush door handles and a tapered back roofline complete the profile.


The rear features simple, clean lines to the tailgate with elegant detailing via slim rear lights that mirror the design of those at the front.


Inside, designers have prioritised space, comfort and technology for all passengers, reimagining what a family SUV can offer. Kia said it captured feedback from families to evaluate seating configurations and features to ensure the EV9 delivers equality of space, comfort and experience for all occupants without placing all of its focus on the driver.


Occupants sitting in the first- and second-row seats can simultaneously recline their seats to relax and rest when the EV9 is charging. The seats in the second row can be effortlessly swivelled 180 degrees so that occupants can interact with those sitting in the third row. The third-row seats also offer cup holders and charging points for mobile devices.


The family-sized vehicle features an open, floating panoramic dashboard that extends from the steering wheel to the vehicle's centre. Two 12.3-inch touch screens integrated with one 5.0-inch segment display improve the digital experience, offering easy control of the vehicle’s functions and ensuring physical buttons are kept to a minimum.


“The EV9’s extended display high-definition audio-visual, navigation and telematics (AVNT) screen creates a rich and immersive experience. It enhances occupants’ ability to engage and interact with the digital world seamlessly,” said Kia’s press release.


“The Kia EV9 breaks new ground, aiming to redefine standards for design, connectivity, usability and environmental responsibility,” said Kia Global Design Centre executive vice president Karim Habib.


"The Kia EV9 offers customers an exceptionally high-quality proposition and a fresh EV perspective in the family SUV sector.


“This new vehicle typology provides instinctive experiences and excellent comfort for not just the driver, but all occupants, through innovative use of space, technology and design.”

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