This is the new, three-row fully electric Kia EV9 SUV

By topgear, 15 March 2023

This is the new, three-row fully electric Kia EV9 SUV

Proof of South Korea’s remarkable motoring ambition can come in no more obvious – nor enormous – an example as what we have here. Kia has revealed the first images of its upcoming flagship electric SUV it’s calling the EV9, and it’s not a car, but a statement.

It’s the company’s first ever three-row SUV, designed to offer “a fresh EV perspective in the family SUV sector”, at least according to Kia design boss Karim Habib. A fresh, very big perspective, if that much wasn’t already obvious.

What's not obvious is exactly how big, because Kia still has some ‘reveal’ left of this EV9 (check back towards the end of March) so today’s announcement is an introduction to its silhouette. Kia describes that bold new shape as ‘assured’, ‘assertive’ and ‘striking’; like using the design forms of Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing video. Or even more succinctly: POLYGONS.

The blocky, polygonal form apparently lends itself to “exceptional aerodynamic efficiency”, according to Kia, complete with pronounced wheel arches and lots of clean, straight “fuselage’-style lines.

There’s a fresh take on the company’s now famous ‘tiger’ face – here called a ‘digital tiger face’ thanks to clusters of cube lamps nestled in the new grille next to a set of rather striking vertical headlights – while the rear features an interesting slim light design mirroring those up front.

Kia tells us the interior offers plenty of space for up to seven people: up front, there’s a floating panoramic dash formed of a pair of 12.3-inch and one 5.0-inch display stretching from the steering wheel right to the middle. Being a product of 2023, “physical buttons are kept to a minimum”. Uh oh.

The second row can swivel 180 degrees if required, in order to “interact with those sitting in the third row". There are charging points and cup holders galore about the cabin, along with *some* amount of storage.

Should be *some* amount of range, too. While Kia has yet to confirm the car’s drivetrain details, it’ll be spun off the company’s E-GMP platform which offers 800-volt charging architecture and – in the case of the EV6 which also uses this platform – well over 300 miles of range from a 77.4kWh battery. Could be a bigger one still in this car, though.

Because it is a big car that’ll make a big statement. “The Kia EV9 breaks new ground, aiming to redefine standards for design, connectivity, usability and environmental responsibility,” says Habib.

TEXT Vijay Pattni

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