Kia unveiled the all-electric 2024 EV9 SUV for the first time in North America at the 2023 New York International Auto Show. As the first three-row EV SUV from Kia, the EV9 is the flagship of the global Plan S strategy, as well as a pioneer in its segment and the automotive industry.
“With the launch of the EV9, we are incorporating our experience in producing brilliantly designed, best-in-class SUVs with our deep expertise in developing the industry’s leading EVs,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia North America and Kia America. “The EV9 is a credible, high-value SUV that encapsulates our approach to bringing innovative, consumer-focused products to market with a serious commitment to electrification.”
The EV9 is a beacon that points to the future of an electrified lineup for Kia as a mobility leader. Building on Kia’s reputation of delivering vehicles with segment-above excellence, the EV9 brings the three-row SUV into the EV era with available features that matter most: generous interior volume and cargo space, towing capability, leading vehicle dynamics, rich interior appointments, and fast charging capability. Inside and out, the EV9 exemplifies the Kia design philosophy of “Opposites United,” which masters the creative tension generated by the divergent values of nature and modernity to create a harmonious whole.
Developed on the proven E-GMP architecture dedicated to electric vehicles with fourth-generation battery technology, the EV9 enhances space with seating for up to seven passengers, with a long wheelbase and flat floor that provide both flexibility and comfort for all. Through integration of some of the latest in-vehicle technology, vehicle system over-the-air updates6, ultra-wideband-based Digital Key7, and Onboard Power Generator (V2L) functionality, the EV9 is enabled to continue to evolve throughout the ownership experience. The EV9’s standard 800V electrical architecture enables ultrafast recharging on high-speed DC chargers, designed to go from a 10 to 80 percent state of charge in under 25 minutes4. The EV9 is expected to arrive in the United States in Q4 2023.8
EV9 Exterior Design: A Triumph of Proportion
From first glance, the all-electric EV9 embodies the rugged yet sophisticated typology befitting a flagship SUV. Its muscular stance and dynamic character lines rise with smooth precision to pay homage to the Kia Design north star, the reimagined Kia logo. The EV9 brings to life the Concept EV9, which was guided by visualizing the simplicity of nature’s perfection through the lens of the elements of nature.
At up to 197.4 inches in length, the EV9 is slightly longer than the Telluride SUV and comparable in height (up to 70.1 inches) and width (77.9 inches). With all three rows raised, the EV9 offers 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space. When both rows of rear seats are folded, volume increases to 81.9 cubic feet.
“The exterior styling of the EV9 is a master class in simplicity of form and expression,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center America. “With a single unbroken stroke, just like that found on the Kia logo, we were able to define the character of the EV9.”
The boxy, triangular design language of the EV9 emphasizes the tension of its short overhangs and long wheelbase, pushed to the corners over the modular E-GMP electric underpinnings. At the front of the EV9 is the Tiger Face, a reinterpretation of the Kia “Tiger Nose” grille that highlights depth and dimensionality, flanked by slim LED headlights. The available Star Map LED animated Digital Pattern Lighting Grille can be personalized by the driver as part of five Dynamic Welcome Light formations, a first for Kia. Both fasciae exude a confident and recognizable front expression recreated with a futuristic touch. In the rear, slim taillights draw attention to the corners of the EV9’s body. Flush door handles with automatic deployment underscore the clean side profile lines.
Design is in every detail of the EV9, including the available wheel options, which range from 19 to 21 inches. For a more design-driven appearance, the EV9 GT-Line adds model-exclusive styling, raised roof rails9, and 21-inch, exclusive alloy wheels and tires. The EV9 will be available in a choice of gloss or factory matte finish paint options10.
EV9 Interior Design: A Modern Sanctuary
In keeping with the tenets of Kia’s “Opposites United” ethos, the interior of the EV9 infuses cues from nature through creative contrast, innovative use of materials, and the interplay between humans and their environment. This post-industrial approach introduces a new level of refinement of craft to Kia.
“Innovation in materiality is a subtle alchemy that has lasting results, and the EV9 unlocks the next level of our design identity,” said Jochen Paesen, vice president, interior design, Kia Design. “And thanks to clever packaging made possible by E-GMP, the EV9 features a spacious, three-row interior.”
The interior design philosophy of the EV9 introduces the “Ten Must-Have Items,” a new paradigm in Color, Material and Finish (CMF) that will also be applied to future Kia models. In the interior of the EV9, this CMF approach comes to life through the use of non-leather polyurethane seating surfaces, select BTX-free interior trim, and select fabrics and carpets composed of partially recycled materials. From the headliner of the EV9 to a variety of high-touch areas within the cabin, these forward-thinking materials offer a tactile quality to occupants in all three rows, and deliver a well-appointed cabin without the use of animal products.
Reductionism is a motif that envelops the cabin of the EV9. Centrally mounted, hidden-until-lit haptic switches for key infotainment features appear when the EV9 is turned on. The dual-level, floating center console stretches from the first to the second row, offering under-tray stowage to front passengers and cupholders and an available sliding storage console for rear passengers. Hidden in front of the driver is an optional, full-color head-up display. An available Full Display Mirror® replaces the traditional rear-view mirror with a camera view with a flick of the lower tab11. The optional 14-speaker, 708-watt Meridian® Premium Audio adds impressive levels of tonal clarity sand serenity12. Available steering wheel LED lighting illuminates the Kia logo.
Every seat inside the EV9 is considered executive-class, including the second row of seats. First and second passenger row occupants are treated to an available “Relaxation Mode” which offers comfort with power operated leg rests, and second-row creature comforts include 8-way power adjustments enhanced with heating and cooling. High-power USB-C outlets throughout the cabin allow for device recharging for all.
The EV9 will be available from launch in a variety of six- and seven-seat configurations. The EV9’s V2L outlet located in the cargo area can help power tailgating parties, and standard tri-zone HVAC ensures true temperature control in front and back.
EV9 Technology: Connected and Ultramodern
The EV9 features Kia’s next-generation, ultramodern Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) operating system. Mirroring the exterior styling, the ccNC display interface takes inspiration from the rising strokes, smooth curves, and high contrast of the Kia logo. The ccNC operating system processes faster and in higher fidelity, with frequently used Quick Controls available with a swipe on the screen. The EV9 will also be the first Kia model to offer vehicle system over-the-air updates, a strategic move towards software-defined vehicles, as well as navigation-based charging guidance using arrival time and distance-to-empty estimates. The EV9 is designed to be a mobile power source, thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU) and V2L13.
The EV9 will offer standard, advanced ultrawideband-based Digital Key, which allows customers to use their compatible Apple and Samsung smart devices or an NFC-enabled smart card as virtual vehicle keys to lock, unlock, and drive. Furthermore, these keys can be shared with friends and family over text messages on available devices. This latest technology allows the driver to unlock the EV9 without the need to hold a smartphone.
EV9 ADAS: Advancing the Art
The EV9 refines and expands Kia’s roster of standard and available Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Debuting on the EV9 for the Kia brand in North America are Advanced Highway Driving Assist (AHDA)14, and Lane Following Assist 2 (LFA-2)15. Standard Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA-2) is a driver convenience system that helps to maintain a predetermined distance from the vehicle detected in front, keep the vehicle within detected lane markers on certain highways, and assist in lane changes under certain conditions. LFA-2 is a driving convenience feature that helps the vehicle stay in the center of detected lane markers. Available AHDA utilizes lidar-based technology.
Central to the active driver assist technology on the EV9 is Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA-2)16, which is designed to help detect and prevent collisions from occurring under certain conditions. Standard FCA has been enhanced on the EV9 to, in certain circumstances, detect: vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists in front of the vehicle while driving (FCA-CPC); oncoming vehicles while turning left at an intersection (FCA-JT); and crossing vehicles while passing through an intersection (FCA-JC). The system is also designed to help provide a degree of braking and/or steering input to help prevent or minimize certain collisions if the system detects: oncoming vehicles while passing other vehicles (FCA-LO); vehicles in front of the car while changing lanes (FCA-LS); and obstacles, pedestrians, or other vehicles in front of the car while driving straight (FCA-ESA). FCA is designed to, in certain instances, help reduce collision damage with a direct oncoming vehicle through audible and visual warnings, as well as by applying the brakes (FCA-DO). Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) are designed to help display and detect vehicles approaching from behind in the next lane and, in a variety of circumstances, applying brakes or steering to help mitigate some collisions while making lane changes (FCA-BCA).
The EV9 will also feature some of the latest features in the Kia Drive Wise active driver assistance suite17, including High Beam Assist (HBA)18, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA-2), Safe Exit Assist (SEA), Safe Exit Warning (SEW)19, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC).
Available Rear-View Monitor, and Surround-View Monitor20 are designed to provide a wider picture in reversing and parking scenarios, using cameras around the EV9 to display a 360-degree view. Optional Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 allows remote parking in, or exiting from, certain parking spots with the driver operating the EV9 from outside the vehicle, as well as smart parking while the driver is inside the vehicle21. Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Parking Distance Warning Forward and Reverse are designed to facilitate parking maneuvers in a variety of circumstances.
In addition to the active driver assist technology, the EV9 arrives standard with 10 airbags, including a front-row center airbag intended to reduce front-passenger impacts in certain collisions22.
EV9 Powertrain: Designed to Perform
The EV9 is the second Kia model based on the E-GMP platform, and the first to feature fourth-generation battery technology designed for improved energy density. From launch, the EV9 will be available with a choice of two powertrain options. Standard is a 76.1-kWh battery with a 160-kW (215-hp) motor that drives the rear wheels. An optional 99.8-kWh battery will be available in a single-motor configuration targeting 300 miles of all-electric range (AER), or a dual-motor, 283-kW (379-hp) torque vectoring all-wheel-drive configuration with 516 lb.-ft. of torque. The EV9 will offer four drive modes at launch on all trims: Eco, Normal, Sport, and My Mode.
With a maximum DC charging speed of up to 230kW, the EV9 can facilitate quick charging with compatible DC chargers, while the 11kW onboard charger enables expedient Level 2 charging, as well.
The EV9 is expected to debut in the U.S. in Q4 2023, and it is expected to be assembled in West Point, Ga., beginning in 2024, making it the first Kia EV to be assembled locally.* Pricing, timing for U.S. market availability, specific trim details, and EPA-rated AER for the EV9 are subject to future announcements.