Kia reveals new EV9 seven-seat electric SUV with 540km range

Kia’s largest and most advanced electric car yet heralds the beginning of a bold new design era; gets optional swivelling seats.  

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 15 Mar 2023 Views icon8846 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Kia Corporation has revealed images of the exterior and interior design of the Kia EV9, its first three-row, seven-seat electric flagship SUV. The global premiere of the latest Kia electric vehicle is to take place at the end of March. 

The new EV9 is the second of Kia’s fast-expanding family of bespoke electric cars, combining compelling performance specs with upmarket design and equipment to enter into direct competition with new SUVs from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Arriving to join the Kia EV6 crossover in dealerships, the EV9 heralds the beginning of a bold new design era for Kia as it progresses with its ambitious ‘Plan S’ strategy to launch another 13 bespoke EVs by 2027.

"The Kia EV9 breaks new ground, aiming to redefine standards for design, connectivity, usability and environmental responsibility," said Karim Habib, Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center. "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."

Though the car has been fully revealed inside and out, Kia remains tight-lipped on performance and technical specifics, though given its targeted maximum range of 337 miles / 540 kilometres – and the fact that it has around 200mm more space between the wheels than the EV6 – it is expected that maximum battery capacity will be in the region of 100kWh from launch.

Because the EV9 shares its 800V-equipped E-GMP platform with the EV6 and its Hyundai Ioniq 5 sibling car, it will be capable of rapid-charging at 350kW to give 100km (62 miles / 100km) of range in just six minutes, and will come as standard with vehicle-to-load reverse-charging functionality.

The EV9 is much more recognisably a dedicated SUV than the rakish, low-slung EV6. “This is an SUV and we wanted that typology to be very clear,” explained Habib, pointing to its chunky black body cladding (available in gloss or matte) and clearly defined, two-box silhouette, while highlighting some of the more non-conventional cues that nod to the EV9’s electric underpinnings.

The EV9’s swivelling middle row (only available on six-seat cars) allows the four rear passengers to face eachother on the move and lends the EV9 heightened appeal outside the traditional family car market.

Ace of space

Built on Kia’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the EV9’s long wheelbase, low beltline, and completely flat electric vehicle architecture have facilitated the creation of generous space for all occupants to connect and relax with lounge-style comfort in all three rows of seats.

Offered in both six- and seven-seat formats, Kia states 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.

EV9’s pioneering interior breaks new ground for Kia by introducing a wealth of top-rung tech, an array of sustainable upmarket materials and unique packaging solutions.

The open, floating panoramic dashboard extends from the steering wheel to the vehicle's centre. Two 12.3-inch touch screens integrated with one 5-inch segment display improve the digital experience, offering effortless control of the vehicle’s functions and ensuring physical buttons are kept to a minimum.

The centre console is equipped with ample storage options, including a spacious compartment located at its base. The centre console doors are further designed to add to the overall refinement of the interior space.

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. Beneath the AVNT screen, an array of hidden type touch buttons provides a start/stop function along with AVNT and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control.

With inputs from Felix Page, Autocar UK

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