Kia EV9 flagship crossover debuts with concept car looks

Published Mar 15, 2023


Seoul - Billed as a pivotal step on the Korean carmaker’s electrification journey, the new Kia EV9 flagship has been revealed to the world and its design remains faithful to the concept car that previewed it.

While Kia has presented the exterior and interior design in its final form, the company is not parting with any technical details just yet, but that will apparently happen in late March.

What we do know is that the Kia EV9 will be underpinned by the E-GMP architecture that was developed exclusively for electric cars. It’s also more than likely that it will have the same 800-volt electrical architecture as the EV6, which allows for ultra-fast charging.

The three-row SUV is set to rival the upcoming Volvo EX90 and will likely be offered in both single-motor and twin-motor all-wheel drive formats, although it remains to be seen whether a 430kW performance model matching the EV6 GT will be offered.

As mentioned, the Kia EV9’s exterior design was directly derived from the concept car of the same name, and Kia refers to the design philosophy as ‘Opposites United’. Stand out design features include a ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’, angular vertical headlights and a ‘Digital Tiger Face’ that places two clusters of small cube lamps within the bodywork next to each headlight.

The Kia EV9 will be offered in both six-seat and seven-seat formats, and the seats in the second row can be effortlessly swivelled 180 degrees to allow occupants to face each other, although judging by the picture provided, they may end up fighting for leg room.

To make life a bit more comfortably for occupants waiting for the EV9 to charge, the first and second row seats can be simultaneously reclined.

The cockpit area follows the EV6’s wide-screen format, something Kia refers to as the “floating panoramic dashboard” and here we see two 12.3-inch touch screens integrated with one five-inch segment display to improve the overall digital experience. This set-up, of course, keeps the presence of physical buttons to a minimum.

According to Kia, the EV9’s extended display high-definition audiovisual, navigation and telematics (AVNT) screen creates a “rich and immersive experience” that “enhances occupants’ ability to engage and interact with the digital world seamlessly.”

At this stage it’s not known whether the Kia EV9 will ever come to South Africa, but for the record its smaller and sportier sibling, the EV6, is set to hit our shores in limited numbers.

IOL Motoring