2023 Kia EV9 electric SUV spied for the first time

Kia has been spied testing a production version of its upcoming three-row EV9 electric SUV for the first time, cloaked in heavy camouflage.

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The upcoming Kia EV9 large electric SUV has been spied for the first time in production form, ahead of its production debut in 2023.

Overall, this camouflaged production version of the EV9 appears to be toned down in terms of design in comparison to the concept that was shown off at the 2021 Los Angeles motor show.

It’s unclear what type of electric powertrains will be offered in the Kia EV9, but Carscoops reported last year the related six- or seven-seat Hyundai Ioniq 7 will use a 100kWh battery pack and offer a 230kW dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain

Kia didn’t detail the drivetrain specifications of the Concept EV9, but did claim it has a range of up to 483km.

The concept also could be DC fast-charged at speeds up to 350kW, which means it could be zapped from 10 to 80 per cent in 20 to 30 minutes when connected to a 350kW DC fast charger.

A large, boxy three-row SUV in essence, the Kia EV9 will be built on the modular E-GMP platform, which underpins the EV6, as well as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 and Genesis GV60.

It’s expected the production version of the EV9 will be similar in terms of physical dimensions to the concept version.

The Concept EV9 measures in at 4930mm long, 2055mm wide, and 1790mm tall with a 3100mm wheelbase.

For reference, that’s 50mm shorter, 80mm wider, and 40mm taller than the Hyundai Palisade large SUV. The Concept EV9 also has a 200mm longer wheelbase than the Palisade, for maximum interior room.

Compared to the Concept EV9, this prototype has a similar SUV silhouette with a high shoulder line, but appears to do away with concept elements such as the rear-hinged rear doors and the 22-inch wheels.

The majority of the spied prototype’s body is covered in thick, black camouflage that hides specific design details.

One thing we can see through the camouflage though are the vertical LED headlights which look very similar to the units on the Concept EV9. It’s unclear if the rest of the lighting elements will be retained on the production version.

We’re yet to see an interior photo of the production EV9 but it’s almost safe to say that the pivoting seats and the bizarre steering won’t make it.

Kia Australia has yet to officially lock in the EV9 but has previously confirmed it’s putting its hand up any electric model it can get.

“We are interested, however the detailed plans of Kia Australia’s future EV line-up such as the EV9, are not yet fixed and will be announced in due course,” said a spokesperson for Kia Australia.

Globally, Kia is launching seven all-electric vehicles by 2027 that’ll use the E-GMP platform, with the company aiming for 25 per cent of its sales volume to come from electrified cars by 2029.

Though Kia has released shadowy teasers of various E-GMP models, it has only introduced the EV6 thus far and previewed the EV9 in concept form.

Other E-GMP models, per the teasers, appear to include a small or mid-sized crossover, a slinky sedan (à la the Hyundai Ioniq 6), a small coupe, and a small hatchback.

The three-row EV9 is, by far, the largest of the upcoming E-GMP-based Kia cars.

MORE: Kia EV9 electric SUV concept revealed
MORE: Kia EV9 electric SUV due in Europe in 2023, unconfirmed for Australia

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Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an emerging automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Jack recently graduated from Deakin University and has previously competed in dance nationally. In his spare time, Jack likes to listen to hyperpop and play Forza Horizon.

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