Kia Concept EV9 previews new electric range-topping flagship

Range Rover-sized SUV EV to push Korean brand further into premium territory

By Mark Tisshaw, Autocar UK calendar 18 Nov 2021 Views icon5367 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The Kia Concept EV9 previews a new range-topping flagship for the firm’s fast-expanding electric car range.

Revealed at the Los Angeles motor show alongside the technically related and similarly positioned Hyundai Seven concept, the Concept EV9 is expected to go into production before 2024. Sales in the UK are considered likely as part of the firm’s push towards electric cars.

At 4929mm long, 2055mm wide and 1790mm tall, the Concept EV9 is only marginally smaller than a Range Rover, a car that will have its own all-electric version by the time the EV9 makes production. While the all-electric Range Rover will surely have a price in excess of £100,000, the production EV9 is expected to come in at around half that.

Underpinning the Concept EV9 is the firm’s E-GMP electric car architecture, also used on the just-launched EV6. It is understood to use that car’s largest battery size of 77.4kWh, the lithium ion polymer battery pack mounted in the floor within the concept’s 3100mm-long wheelbase. A fast charge of the battery from 10% to 80% takes around 20 minutes.

The Concept EV9 has twin motors for four-wheel drive and a 0-62mph time of around five seconds in its ‘performance model’ guise – although it is not yet confirmed whether this version will wear the same GT badge as the top-rung 577bhp version of the EV6.  

Styling work was overseen by Kia design chief Karim Habib. Its rugged look includes the next evolution of Kia’s 'Tiger Face' front grille, which has gone digital on the Concept EV9 and allowed for a new air vent design at the front that reduces frontal mass to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

A solar panel also features on the front ducts to allow extra charge for battery, while further aerodynamic efficiency comes from the 22in triangular-design alloy wheels.

There are plenty of show car flourishes in the Concept EV9 that will be toned down or replaced for production, such as its dramatic rear-hinged doors and pared-back, ultra-modern three-row interior, which includes the potential for the second row of seats to be folded completely flat and the first row of seats to swivel round to create a lounge-type space.

Kia in time plans to have a full range of electric vehicles from EV1 to EV9, although not all will be cars. The EV6 is currently the firm’s electric flagship in the UK and is expected to be joined next year by an all-new e-Niro, although this will not be based on the E-GMP platform.

 

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