A new electric SUV has officially started rolling out. Kia has begun delivering its flagship EV9 electric SUV as it looks to continue expanding its brand in the era of electrification.
Kia delivering its new EV9 electric SUV in South Korea
After officially revealing its new three-row electric SUV in March, Kia’s new flagship EV9 received high praise for its design and features.
Based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform (the same used for the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6), the EV9 is Kia’s second dedicated electric model. Its first, the EV6 crossover, has helped transform the brand from being known for its affordable models to an automaker with bold designs and powerful, dynamic EVs.
Now Kia is taking on the SUV segment. Kia says the EV9 offers “true SUV capabilities” with 7.8 ground clearance, up to 82 cubic feet of cargo space in the back, AWD, and up to 5,000 lb. towing.
Powered by two electric motors, the EV9 offers up to 379 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. The EV’s 99.8 kWh battery allows for up to 311 miles range (501 km).
The electric SUVs’ muscular and dynamic lines pay homage to the brand’s reimagined logo. Or, what Kia Design Center America’s chief designer, Tom Kearns, calls “a master class in simplicity of form and expression.”
Starting with the EV9, Kia is accelerating toward Software Defined Vehicles (SDVs). The electric SUV will be the first model to offer a range of digital features and software through the Kia Connect Store.
Drivers have access to new driving experiences that will be continuously improved via OTA updates. The store offers features such as Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 and Lightning Pattern, which allow you to manually adjust the small cube lamps in the vehicle’s headlights.
Ahead of deliveries, Kia took the EV9 Arjeplog, Sweden, to test the electric SUV in sub-zero temperatures. Kia tested new features such as battery conditioning to pre-heat the battery and route planning to ensure the electric SUV could withstand the cold.
Kia must have been satisfied with what they saw. According to the Korea Economic Daily, Kia announced it would begin delivering the EV9 to customers in South Korea on June 19.
A Kia official said 55% of EV9 pre-orders are new customers, adding, “We are very encouraged to see new demand for our flagship model, which has a high brand repurchase rate.”
The EV9 is offered in three trims – Air, Earth, and a GT Line version with a choice of rear-wheel (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD). The Air model features highway driving assist, a wide panoramic display, and other tech features. The Earth trim offers a premium interior with first-row reclining comfort seats and a 12-inch interactive head-up display.
The third option, the high-performance GT-Line, trim offers the maximum horsepower (379) for 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds.
Kia’s new EV9 electric SUV is expected to go on sale in the US in the fourth quarter of this year and will be assembled in West Point, Georgia – its first EV to be built in the US.