Kia signalled intentions toward levelling up its electric game in November last year when it introduced the EV9 Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show. One of the many EVs to ride on the modular E-GMP platform shared with Hyundai and Genesis, the SUV will have three rows of seats and an edgy design. The production model will retain as much as 90 percent of the showcar's styling, but Kia still heavily camouflaged this prototype.
Already seemingly carrying the final body, the EV9 was spotted in busy German traffic looking large and in charge. The boxy shape suggests Kia is prioritising practicality over efficiency since that tall and nearly flat roof is great for headroom but less than ideal for airflow. Compared to the namesake concept car, the prototype has already lost the side cameras in favour of conventional mirrors, although the big SUV could still be sold with cameras in countries where legislation has caught up.
Kia EV9 Spy Photos
It goes without saying the concept's rear suicide doors won't make it to production, which consequently means the final version will have a traditional B-pillar. As for the wheels, they're a size smaller than the 22-inch set of the EV9 Concept and have an interesting U-shaped four-spoke design. Judging by the cutouts in the camouflage, expect the headlights and taillights to have an unusual shape and placement.
While the current crop of E-GMP models from the Hyundai/Genesis/Kia trio maxes out at 77.4-kWh as far as the battery size is concerned, that should change with the EV9. The concept had a generous wheelbase of 3,100 millimetres (122 inches) or a full 200 mm (nearly eight inches) more than the EV6, which should give the engineers enough room to fit a bigger battery. It's certainly going to need one since the extra size will certainly bring an increase in weight and Kia is targeting a 300-mile range.
The South Korean brand has already confirmed the EV9 will go on sale later next year, presumably as a 2024MY in the United States where it's estimated to carry a starting price of $50,000. Kia America Chief Operating Officer Steven Center said the price difference between the Telluride and EV9 will be just about the same as the gap between the Sportage and EV6.
Naturally, Hyundai will have its own version, dubbed Ioniq 7, while Genesis might have already teased the more luxurious GV90.