New Kia EV9: flagship electric SUV coming this week
9 November 2021 - autocar
Preview image hints at an electric version of the large Telluride SUV; UK launch is on the cards
Kia is readying a new large SUV to top its new family of electric cars and will provide a first glimpse of it this Thursday (11 November).
Badged the EV9 (so expected to be significantly bigger than the existing EV6), the new arrival has been previewed in silhouette form. First impressions are that it looks to bear a resemblance to the Kia Telluride large SUV, which has been on sale in the US for two years.
A relationship with that car would tally with its numerical designation, which suggests it will be the largest member of the EV family. The timing makes sense, too, given that the Los Angeles motor show opens next week, providing a likely venue for the car's official unveiling.
Sibling brand Hyundai is also gearing up to unwrap a new electric SUV and has confirmed that it will make its appearance in LA. The show car, badged the Seven, will feature a raft of concept-specific styling cues but is expected to make it to production with only light changes, becoming the Ioniq 7.
Both the Seven concept and EV9 show car will use the new E-GMP architecture. Capable of 800V charging and accomodating rear- and four-wheel-drive powertrains, this will be used for 23 bespoke EVs from the Hyundai Motor Group by 2023, having made its debut underneath the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60.
If Kia's new EV9 is a similar size to the Telluride, four-wheel drive will likely be standard to all variants. The EV6 currently offers a pair of dual-motor layouts, with power ranging from 321bhp in the GT-Line S AWD to 577bhp in the upcoming GT range-topper, both of which would theoretically suit a large electric SUV.
Details of a European launch remain unconfirmed, but the EV9 has been previewed on Kia's Worldwide Instagram page, suggesting that it won't be a US-only proposition, unlike the Telluride. Whether it offers the same eight-seat layout or off-road drive mode functionality remains to be seen.