Kia announced plans to up its electric game in November last year when it showed off the EV9 concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show. One of several electric vehicles to run on the E-GMP modular platform shared with Hyundai and Genesis, the SUV will have three rows of seats and a forward-thinking design. The production model will retain up to 90% of the styling of the show car, but Kia has still heavily camouflaged this prototype.
Already seemingly sporting the final body, the EV9 was spotted in busy German traffic looking tall and responsible. The boxy shape suggests Kia is prioritizing practicality over efficiency, as that tall, nearly flat roof is great for headroom, but less than ideal for airflow. Compared to the eponymous concept car, the prototype has already lost side cameras in favor of conventional mirrors, although the large SUV could still be sold with cameras in countries where legislation has caught up.
It goes without saying that the concept’s rear suicide doors will not be produced, which therefore means that the final version will have a traditional B-pillar. As for the wheels, they’re a size smaller than the EV9 concept’s 22-inch set and have an interesting U-shaped four-spoke design. Judging by the cutouts in the camo, expect the headlights and taillights have an unusual shape and location.
While the current crop of E-GMP models from the Hyundai/Genesis/Kia trio max out at 77.4kWh when it comes to battery size, that’s set to change with the EV9. The concept had a generous wheelbase of 3,100 millimeters (122 inches) or 200 mm (nearly eight inches) longer than the EV6, which should give engineers plenty of room to fit a larger battery. It will definitely take one as the extra size will definitely mean increased weight and Kia is aiming for a range of 300 miles.
The South Korean brand has already confirmed that the EV9 will go on sale later next year, presumably as 2024MY in the US where it’s estimated to have a starting price of $50,000. Kia America COO Steven Center said the price difference between the Telluride and the EV9 will be about the same as the price difference between the Sportage and the EV6.
Naturally, Hyundai will have its own version, dubbed the Ioniq 7, while Genesis may have already teased the more luxurious GV90.