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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Kia EV9 debuts as brutish electric SUV with up to 283 kW

At present, the line-up is topped by the 283 kW all-wheel-drive model, but coming in 2025 is the GT expected to produce in the area of 430 kW.

Kia has joined sister brand Hyundai in showcasing its latest model on home soil at the Seoul Mobility Show, albeit in the form of an all-new electric SUV called the EV9.

‘Electric’ Mohave

The marque’s second EV-badged model after the EV6 that will soon replace the Stinger, the massive EV9 is also Kia’s first wholly electric SUV and after the EV6, the latest to make use of the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).

Essentially Kia’s all-electric take on the diesel engine Mohave, the EV9 has, however, been designed from the ground up as anything but a “converted” EV.

In fact, it’s only similarities with the Mohave is its basic shape and option of seven or six seats, the latter seeing the centre row being occupied by a pair of captain’s chair.

Mammoth Kia EV9 officially revealed
Rear has elements of the Volvo EX90 about it. Image: Kia.

Outwardly, the EV9 is also styled differently from the EV6, which incorporates certain aesthetics takeaways from the Stinger.


For the EV9, Kia’s Opposite United styling language has been altered to include elements from the Sportage and, when viewed from the front, the Telluride sold in North America.

Riding as standard on 19-inch aero alloy wheels with the option of upgrading to 21-inch wheels, the EV9 measures 5 010 mm in overall length, 1 980 mm wide and 1 755 mm. The claimed wheelbase is 3 100 mm with ground clearance being unknown.

What did emerge from the EV9’s unveiling was the introduction of a sporty GT-Line model resplendent with what Kia calls a Digital Pattern Lighting Grille.

ALSO READ: The forbidden palisade: Refreshed Kia Telluride debuts

A feature also offered on the standard EV9, the setup combines the Digital Tiger Face LED headlights with a series of smaller diodes around the grille, plus those of the daytime running lamps, to create a “visionary and futuristic look”.

In typical GT-Line fashion, the EV9 also receives extended door sills, sportier front and rear bumpers, roof rails and a “distinctive black colour palette” for certain pieces of the exterior.

Interior anything but mundane

Compared to its exterior, the EV9’s interior is less striking, but only on first glance. Besides the dual 12.3-inch display for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, the almost arrow-straight dashboard comes with a mix of touch-sensitive and physical buttons, while the centre console is as bulky as it is minimalistic with only a scattering of controls present.

Matters change on the tech front where though the EV9 sports a pair of displays integrated into the doors despite rear-view mirrors being present.

Mammoth Kia EV9 officially revealed
Sporty GT-Line tops the EV9 model designations. Image: Kia.

At the same time, buyers can opt from a second row swivel seating arraignment whereby the chairs are rotated though 180-degrees. In addition, these seats are electric and can also recline.

Tech overload

It doesn’t stop there as besides the comfort aspect, the EV9 is also capable of Level 3 autonomous driving thanks to the inclusion of a 360-degree camera system, 15 sensors and a pair of LiDAR modules.  

Called Highway Driving Pilot, the system is only expected to become later and not from the onset solely in markets where autonomous driving has been permitted.

Unsurprisingly, the EV9’s safety and driver assistance spec is extensive and includes Remote Park Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, satellite navigation-based Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Parking Collision Avoidance Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Mammoth Kia EV9 officially revealed
Interior appears plain compared to the exterior, until some digging takes place. Note the display screens on the end of the dashboard. Image: Kia.

EV power of three…

Unlike the mono engine options of the Mohave and Telluride, the EV9 will go on-sale powered by a choice of three units; the Standard 76.1-kWh battery that makes 160kW/350Nm and the long range that produces the same torque, but less power at 150 kW.

Both these models are rear-wheel-drive only as evident by the electric motor being mounted on the rear axle. According to Kia, the former will get from 0-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds and the latter in 9.4 seconds.

In Standard spec with the 19-inch wheels underneath, the EV9 will travel 541 km on a single charge with 239 km available after 15 minutes plugged into a fast charging station.

Sitting at the range’s summit is the dual-range all-wheel-drive that only receives a bigger battery pack, but as its name points out, a second electric motor positioned on the front axle.

Kia has taken the wraps off of the new electric EV9 SUV in Korea
In six-seat guise, a pair of captain’s chair in the second-row take prominence. Image: Kia.

The combination of the 99.8-kWh battery and pair of motors translates to outputs of 283kW/600Nm, though the latter increases to 700 Nm thanks to a subscription-only Boost mode available from the online Kia Connect shop.

This allows the EV9 to get from 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds, which becomes six seconds without the added shove. As with the Long Range model, no details regarding the AWD’s distance was disclosed.

…but wait

What did emerge though was confirmation of an even more powerful unit debuting in 2025 potentially with the same 430kW/740Nm as the EV6 GT.

According to Car and Driver, the EV9 GT will likely become the most powerful production Kia ever made with the expected 0-100 km/h sprint time tipped to be around the 4.5 to five second mark.

Kia has taken the wraps off of the new electric EV9 SUV in Korea
As a six-seater, the second row can swivel through 180-degrees. Image: Kia.

South Africa waiting

Until then, the regular all-wheel-drive heads the EV9 range with sales set to start in the second quarter of this year in South Korea.

For now, while Kia South Africa is known to have expressed interest in bringing the EV6 GT to market, details surrounding the EV9 are unknown, though chances are that 2024 could be a likely year of reveal if approval is granted.

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