Kia EV9 will be the Korean automaker’s range topping model when it goes on sale sometime in 2023. Previously, we had only seen the big and brash concept, but now our spies sent us the first ever EV9 prototype photos and even though it’s covered by heavy and unrevealing camouflage, we can state one thing surely: it is going to be a massive EV that will stand out through its size and boxy style.
Underneath, it will be based around the same e-GMP platform as the EV6, but it will be even larger. It’s probably around 5 meters (16.5 feet) long, 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide and around 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) tall, basically the same overall size as a Mercedes-Benz GLE (or Kia's own Telluride).
Even though the prototype is mostly hidden by thick black camouflage, the parts that are not hidden do seem to point out that the production EV9 will look a whole lot like the concept that previewed it. The creases above the front wheel arches appear to be the same, as do the headlights, which are tall and quite narrow, just like on the study, although not quite as slim as they also need to accommodate projectors.
The test vehicle appears to be wearing its production body, although we’re not sure if the light clusters are placeholders. We can also see part of the plastic cladding around the wheel arches, which appears to be unpainted plastic, and the same finish is most likely used on the sill guards and all around the lower part of the vehicle.
Gallery: Kia EV9
It was clear from the concept that Kia was going for a more rugged, off-road-ready look for the EV9, and this prototype’s tall stance and ground clearance do seem to confirm this. Kia will still make a performance-oriented GT model and that will be lower to the ground, with larger wheels, in order to reign in its extra power better - it will apparently be able to sprint to sixty in under 4 seconds.
We don’t know when Kia plans to launch this model, but it will most likely be within a year, given that it has already shown the concept and this prototype appears to be wearing all of its production body panels.