Kia has revealed full details of the Kia EV9, its first three-row seat electric flagship SUV that brings fresh thinking, design, and technology to the sector and spearheads the brand’s rapid transformation to a sustainable mobility solutions provider in the era of electrification.
Based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the EV9 ensures athletic performance, complemented by a targeted all-electric range over 541 km (336 miles), according to the World harmonized Light vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP). Ultra-fast 800-volt charging capability enables the EV9 battery pack to be replenished with sufficient charge to power the vehicle for 239 km (148.5 miles) in approximately 15 minutes.
Numerous technological breakthroughs include the Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system, available in the Kia EV9 GT-line in the future, enabling conditional Level 3 autonomous driving in selected markets. It also introduces the Kia Connect Store, which enables customers to purchase digital features and services on demand, giving them the flexibility to choose the features they want and continuously upgrade the capability of the EV9 with Over the Air (OTA) updates at any time.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO, said: “The Kia EV9 transcends all aspects of traditional SUV thinking and represents the pinnacle of Kia’s design and engineering capabilities. Created to meet the needs of all family members, the EV9 also spearheads Kia’s rapid transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider, not just by its advanced EV architecture, but also through the numerous recycled and sustainable materials used in its creation.”
Kia will begin offering pre-order of the EV9 for the Korean market in the second quarter of 2023. The Kia EV9 will go on sale in selected global markets from the second half of the year.
Design: reshaping the SUV user experience for millennial families
Guided by the brand’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, the EV9 re-envisions the all-electric SUV with a unique balance of natural and modern elements. The ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar, which inspires the combination of elements from the natural and material worlds, has played a pivotal role in forming the design of the EV9.
The Kia EV9’s exterior provides a sense of serene contemporary calmness befitting of a sophisticated EV for a new age of sustainable mobility. The vehicle features a 3,100-mm wheelbase, supported by a choice of 21-inch, 20-inch or 19-inch wheels. With an overall length of 5,010 mm, it stands at 1,980-mm wide and 1,755-mm tall, displaying a bold and contemporary appearance while still maintaining its unique character.
The EV9’s front exudes confidence, clarity, and calmness with its clear-cut lines and surfaces. The SUV’s signature ‘Digital Tiger Face’ showcases its unique identity, which is accentuated by the ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ and vertical headlamps, giving the EV9 a visionary and futuristic look. The Digital Tiger Face also features two clusters of small cube lamps adjacent to each headlamp. The EV9’s ‘Star Map’ LED daytime running lights (DRL) create a sophisticated animated lighting pattern that will signify Kia’s Digital Tiger Face for future EV models, while providing a new illumination experience.
In addition to the standard model, Kia has unveiled the GT-line model design, which features a unique aesthetic that distinguishes it from the standard model. The front and rear bumpers, wheels, and roof rack have undergone a transformation, and the GT-line features a distinctive black color palette exuding a strong and assertive presence, setting it apart from its standard counterpart. Notably, the GT-line includes an exclusive ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ that adds an element of dynamism and sophistication to its already impressive design.
Beyond its stunning exterior, the EV9 also delivers on performance with an impressive aerodynamic coefficient of 0.28. This has been achieved through the implementation of several advanced features. These include Kia’s first-ever 3D-sculpted underbody cover, which features a convex shape at the front and a concave shape at the rear, along with aerodynamic wheels, and innovative air curtains integrated into the front bumper. These elements combine seamlessly to provide superior airflow control and optimized performance and efficiency, delivering an exhilarating driving experience.
The Kia EV9 offers a range of seating options that cater to diverse needs. It offers seven-seater and six-seater configurations and a variety of second-row seat options, totaling to four, suitable for different situations such as moving, charging, and resting. The first-row features relaxation seats that ensure a comfortable resting posture. The second row, for the first time among global EV models, offers four seating options, including 3-seater bench seats, basic-type, relaxation-type, and swivel-type two-seater independent seats, providing customers with a variety of usage methods to choose from.
When equipped with the second-row relaxation seats, the EV9 allows first and second-row occupants to recline together while the SUV is charging. With the swivel seat option, the second-row seats swivel 180 degrees to enable conversations with those seated in the third row. Occupants in the third row are provided with charging points and cup holders.
The cabin design is elegantly simple, user-friendly, and offers generous storage options, including a large base compartment at the center console. The front seats’ mesh headrests improve comfort and child monitoring. The ‘Panoramic wide display’, which brings together a 12.3-inch cluster display, a 5-inch segment display, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system display, offers effortless vehicle function control as well as efficient delivery of information. Hidden type touch buttons beneath provide a start/stop function along with infotainment system as well as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control.
The EV9’s extended high-definition infotainment system display immerses occupants in a seamless digital experience. The EV9’s infotainment system, Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC), introduces new features such as quick control, integrated search, and new EV mode, thus greatly improving driver usability and convenience.
In particular, the new EV mode allows drivers to check and control all EV-specific information and functionalities on a single page. What’s more, the feature allows drivers to freely edit and configure the interface in a widget-style manner, according to their own preferences.
Sustainability: setting new standards for responsible mobility
Kia’s strategic commitment to become a leader in sustainable mobility, and its declared roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, extend beyond the provision of zero-emission EV drivetrains. They also encompass the materials used in the vehicle’s construction, and the EV9 takes this to the next level, with eco-friendly materials applied to set new standards in sustainable mobility.
The Kia EV9 marks a pioneering milestone as the first model to embrace the brand’s three-step Design Sustainability Strategy, initiated to phase out the use of leather, apply ten ‘must-have’ sustainable items to all new Kia models and continuously increase the use of bio-based materials such as corn, sugar cane, and natural oils. Kia’s target is to increase the proportion of recycled plastics it uses to 20 per cent by 2030.
The EV9’s color palette draws inspiration from nature’s four core elements, namely light, air, earth, and water, to establish a connection with nature’s beauty and fuse it into the EV9’s design philosophy.
The EV9’s interior features a total of six different combinations, from a light modern grey to elegant natural tones and a more sporting version for the GT-line.
Electric drivetrain: full range of multiple zero-emission mobility solutions
The EV9 features a broad choice of electric powertrain configurations based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and utilizing Kia’s fourth-generation battery technology. A 76.1-kWh battery is offered exclusively with the Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Standard model, while a 99.8-kWh battery is fitted in both the RWD Long Range and All Wheel Drive (AWD) variants.
The RWD Long Range model utilizes a 150 kW / 350 Nm electric motor, endowing the SUV with the ability to accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 9.4 seconds, as preliminary data reveals. Also powered by a single electric motor, albeit a more powerful 160 kW / 350 Nm variant, the Standard RWD EV9 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds.
The AWD variant is equipped with two electric motors that together unleash a total power output of 283 kW and a combined torque of 600 Nm. This potent combination enables the SUV to surge from 0-to-100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds. And even greater levels of performance are available with an optional Boost feature, available for later purchase at the Kia Connect Store. The combined torque is increased to an exceptional 700 Nm, enabling the EV9 to accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds.
Kia’s holistic approach to engineering the EV9’s electric powertrain has ensured that the SUV’s athletic performance is complemented by exemplary range. This enables EV9 customers to spend as much time as possible on the road and as little as possible at the charging station, inspiring complete confidence in families to undertake lengthy road trips. For example, the RWD Long Range model with 19-inch wheels offers an estimated target range of over 541 km, according to WLTP. Using an ultra-fast 800 Volt charging system, the vehicle’s battery pack can be replenished with sufficient charge to power the vehicle for 239 km in approximately 15 minutes.
The EV9 comes with Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality through its Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU), enabling the discharging of energy from the vehicle battery. Families can use up to 3.68 kW of power for laptops or camping equipment.
Highway Driving Pilot: unlocking conditional Level 3 autonomy
The EV9 will take a significant step towards full autonomy. Key to achieving this is Kia’s Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system, which will provide the EV9 with conditional Level 3 autonomous driving. Fifteen sensors, including two lidars, enable it to scan for and detect objects in a full 360-degree field of view, enabling it to detect and react to the road and other users to prevent potential collisions.
By providing intelligent, proactive, real-time assistance across a wide range of conditions, Kia’s Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system will meet the criteria required to deliver Level 3 autonomy in certain areas of the world. The car will be capable of conditional driving automation where conditions permit, enabling the driver to temporarily take a break from controlling the vehicle.
Kia is planning to offer the HDP in the EV9 GT-line model in the future. Further details on the HDP will be disclosed nearer its market availability.
Kia Connect Store: update your EV9 anytime anywhere
Kia’s fresh thinking as to what a family SUV should be extends to how customers can select the equipment specification of their EV9. Beyond the standard features of the EV9, the Kia Connect Store offers a wide array of options. This enables customers to keep their EV9 constantly updated by upgrading the SUV’s digital features and services without any need to take the vehicle to a dealership. The EV9’s ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ technology can be further enhanced with the addition of the ‘Lighting Pattern’ feature. Customers can also specify additional performance for the AWD EV9 with an optional Boost feature unlocks an extra 100 Nm of torque for the electric motor for a more thrilling and dynamic driving experience.
Kia’s Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2) is also offered as a digital feature, as is content streaming for occupants to enjoy through the vehicle’s Audio Visual, Navigation and Telematics (AVNT) system.
Safety and convenience: designed and engineered to enhance the driving experience of all occupants
The EV9’s numerous additional features facilitated by Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) include Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2). This technology enables the EV9 to park itself without the need for driver intervention, whether in or out of the vehicle, with the driver initiating the procedure via the Kia smart key called Digital Key 2.
By using ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles, the RSPA 2 automatically maneuvers the EV9 into the designated parking space, controlling the accelerator, brakes, and gearshift. The system also automatically applies the brakes if an object representing an obstruction is detected in the vehicle’s path. The EV9 also features Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) to prevent collisions with oncoming vehicles when reversing.
Alongside these features, the vehicle incorporates numerous advanced driver assistance systems from Kia to enhance passenger safety, such as Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), designed to aid drivers in potentially dangerous scenarios. The Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) ensures safe driving on highways and automobile-only roads, while Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) enables lane changes and uses a hands-on detection (HOD) sensor to ensure driver engagement.
In addition, the EV9 offers pre- and post-driving safety and convenience with features such as Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance (RCCA) and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA). Finally, Digital Key 2 utilizes Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technology, allowing users to open and start their car using their smartphone, even when the key is in their pocket or bag – another first for Kia.
Kia has leveraged only the most advanced engineering design and technologies to provide EV9 customers, and their families, with optimum safety in all conditions. The EV9’s chassis frame structure features an exceptionally high-torsional stiffness and the world’s first patent-pending B-pillar connection structure technology featuring an extended overlap between crash barrier and side sill. These technological advances provide class-leading levels of protection and safeguarding for both occupants and batteries, with in-cabin protection enhanced by ten airbags.
Kia’s global campaign for the EV9: ‘Here to reshape the way we move’
Kia is set to embark on a series of global campaign activities, encapsulated in the statement ‘Here to reshape the way we move’. This statement speaks to the company’s commitment to innovation and its vision for a future that is more sustainable, efficient, and convenient.
The EV9 is set to make its inaugural physical debut at the Seoul Mobility Show 2023 later this month. It will then be showcased at this year’s New York International Auto Show in early April. With the EV9, Kia is poised to set a new standard for electric vehicles that revolutionizes the concept of traveling in style and comfort.