Yes, we hear you - Kia EV9 was unveiled last week. Well, technically, it was just a design unveiling because Kia, like so many other automakers these days, likes to have pre-unveiling, followed by the unveiling, which in turn is followed by yet another unveiling often called World Premiere. So here it is - the World Premiere of Kia EV9.
The 2024 Kia EV9 deserves all the publicity it can get, it is one of the closest production cars to its prototype ever released. Yes, the futuristic interior has been toned down and the rear-hinged doors are replaced with the humdrum everyday doors that open in the usual way, but just look at this car. And then consider that this is Kia.
The world premiere gave us a little bit more insight into the design process and ideas behind the car but the most important bits have finally been confirmed - powertrains and battery options. And this news is huge - literally. Kia is introducing the biggest battery the E-GMP platform has seen so far. The 99.8 kWh battery pack means the EV9 can deliver a decent driving range.
There are two battery options available on the EV9 - either the well-known 76.1 kWh or the new 99.8 kWh. The smaller battery pack can be coupled only to the RWD powertrain with a single electric motor and its 160kW peak power. That’s enough to accelerate the largest electric Kia SUV from a standstill to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds.
The larger battery pack can come with either RWD or AWD powertrain and interestingly, the RWD option has a less powerful electric motor than the version with the smaller battery. Kia toned the motor down to 150kW - so not a huge difference - to increase the range. The torque figure stays the same at 350Nm but due to the heavier battery, this version of EV9 takes 9.4 seconds to accelerate from standstill to 100km/h.
The fun though starts with the AWD version. Thanks to its two electric motors with a combined output of 283kW (nearly 380hp) and 600Nm of torque, the EV9 transforms into a properly quick SUV. The 0 to 100 km/h is dealt with in just 6 seconds, but if that’s not enough, there is an optional Boost feature available. It cranks up the torque to 700Nm and cuts the 0 to 100 km/h time down to 5.3 seconds. That’s quicker than the 1st generation of Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
If you’re a careful driver and stick to speed limits and drive gently, the EV9 should deliver up to 541km (336 miles) of range on a single charge. That figure is for the RWD version with the larger battery and for now, it is only the WLTP rating. The EPA ratings will follow soon.
There are two trims of the EV9 available - standard and GT-Line. The GT-Line has a different front bumper and the roof rails are standard plus it will get the HDP - Highway Driving Pilot - soon. The HDP meets the Level 3 autonomous driving requirements thanks to its dual LiDAR sensors and a host of cameras and ultrasonic sensors. According to Kia, the EV9 is capable of conditional autonomous driving but it hasn’t disclosed the date when the system becomes available.
The interior has either 6 or 7 seats on offer, in the 6-seat configuration, the middle-row captain chairs swivel 180 degrees. There is the large dual-display screen we know from other models and generally, the interior looks good and comfortable but we’ll have to wait for a test drive to fully investigate it.
Kia, just like many other automakers, is pushing the recycling agenda and EV9 is no exception. The interior materials use 7 PET bottles, fully recycled into various parts and fabrics. The company is phasing out the use of leather and it wants us to remember that - good job, Kia.
Another thing that Kia is pushing is the Kia Connect Store. Essentially, it is an app store where you can buy OTA updates for your EV9. If you want the active LED pattern for the front of the car or the Boost option for the performance or in fact, any other option you haven’t thought about when buying the car - Kia has got your back. As long as you pay, that is. Kia put a lot of effort to avoid the word ‘subscription’ in its press release, but you know the subscriptions are coming.
Kia EV9 is a very important vehicle for the entire Hyundai Group, not just for Kia. It is a preview of the Hyundai Ioniq 7 which will use the same powertrains and batteries. It is a preview of the large all-electric SUV from Genesis to replace the GV70 Electrified. The EV9 will replace Kia Telluride which has a decent fanbase in the US. Above all, the EV9 will compete with the likes of the Audi Q8 e-tron or Mercedes EQE SUV. It will have to take on Chevy Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. While it may not have the performance to match the Tesla Model X, it certainly has the space and it’ll cost way less.