Kia has released several images of a camouflaged Kia EV9 currently undergoing its final verification tests, ahead of the moidel’s world debut in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023). The Korean carmaker says the EV9 will become the brand’s flagship model, and will “revolutionise the large electric SUV segment, while accelerating Kia’s brand transformation and affirming its leadership in sustainable electric mobility.”
Back in November 2021, Kia unveiled the Kia EV9 Concept at the AutoMobility LA motor show in Los Angeles. Measuring about the same size as a Hyundai Palisade or Mazda CX-9, the Kia EV9 concept was claimed to have an electric range of 482 km and featured a 350 kW charger that allowed a charging time of 20-30 minutes from 10% to 80%.
The Kia EV9 has now undergone 44 months of development. In its final testing phase, the EV9 is relentlessly subjected to a demanding verification program that entails a 4WD climbing hill, a rough terrain track, and a deep-water wading test. Testing is also done on Kia’s high-speed, handling, and low-friction tracks.
On top of the test program at Namyang R&D centre, the Kia EV9 is also subjected to verification tests in locations all over the globe. The cobble roads in Belgium, for example, enable Kia’s engineers to test the EV9’s ride comfort and build quality.
Like the EV6, the Kia EV9 is built on the Hyundai Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). With rather revealing camouflage, distinct design features of the EV9 can be seen clearly, and we think it’s looking good. Most design elements from the concept appear to have been retained here, giving the EV9 a tough, rugged look.
Kia reported strong EV sales in the second quarter of 2022, including 8,171 units of the EV6 globally in July alone. Across the time period, retail sales of Kia’s BEV models accounted for 44,000 units, representing a 98% increase year-on-year.