> Kia EV9 electric SUV unveiled in LA
> Up to 300 miles of range
> 0-62mph in five seconds in performance version
> Up to seven seats
> Production scheduled for 2023
> Prices expected to start around £50,000
While this is still a concept car, we expect the finished version to stay pretty true to the design you see here. The first thing to note is the Kia EV9 is big, very big. In fact with a length of nearly five metres it’s around the same size as the new Range Rover.
Kia has gone for a boxy silhouette and used plenty of interesting angular creases along the sides, which we think makes for a striking look. The front and rear bumpers are strong and prominent and even the wheel arches, which house 22-inch wheels, are squared off.
Its elongated bonnet is fitted with solar panels for on-the-go charging, although whether that will see its way to the production model remains to be seen. It perhaps makes more sense in sunnier countries than the UK.
Just like the Audi e-tron electric SUV the wing mirrors are replaced by cameras, and being an electric car the grille is closed off and features LED lights which illuminate in a welcome signature when the driver approaches the car, something we already see on cars like the DS 4.
Roof rails which pop up and retract with the press of a button are another feature that may or may not make it to the final version, although we hope they do. And the rear-hinged doors are surely only for the concept model.
Things look a little more concept car-like inside, with a fierce focus on minimalist design. The 27-inch infotainment screen and digital driver display which stretches across half of the dash is the only significant piece of furniture, other than the seats themselves. More or less all controls live within the infotainment, including the climate controls, which might be distracting if it stays this way for the finished product.
The steering wheel looks like it would be more at home in a fighter jet than a family SUV, but we like the fact the cabin is flooded with natural light thanks to the panoramic roof.
In keeping with modern trends, Kia has used recycled materials throughout the cabin, including materials made from recycled fishnets and plastic bottles.
Up to seven people can sit in the EV9, with a third bench of seats that can be folded flat. All three rows of seats can turn 180 degrees to face backward, and the second row of seats can be folded down into a table so those in the first row and third row and can sit around it conference-style. Kia calls this seating configuration ‘Pause Mode’.
In ‘Enjoy Mode’ all the seats turn to face the open tailgate. The idea is the occupants can enjoy a view of the outside world and get some fresh air when stopped. A third ‘Active Mode’ is activated when the car is driving, turning all the seats to face forward.
Kia has not revealed any interior dimensions but it’s clear to see the EV9 is a spacious car, benefitting from the flat-bottom design typical to EVs. We will update you with boot space and legroom figures as soon as we find out.
Kia hasn’t said a great deal about what’s powering the EV9 but it’s a safe bet it will share most of its powertrain with the EV6. That means it will be powered by a 77.4kWh battery and offer a range of up to 300 miles.
The standard model is likely to produce around 230hp via a single motor, but a faster dual motor performance version will produce 325hp and be capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in around five seconds.
The EV9 supports ultra-fast charging. Via a 350kW charger it’s possible to top up from 10 per cent to 80 per cent of range in just 20 minutes.
Unfortunately we’ll have to be patient, the EV9 won’t go into production until 2023, with first customer deliveries either the end of that year or early 2024.
Understandably there’s no word on prices yet but we expect them to start around the £50,000 mark.