We’re still a few months away from the reveal of the first ever Kia EV9, the large electric SUV that will serve as the automaker’s EV flagship. It’s based on the same E-GMP platform as the Kia EV6 (and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6) and its aim is to set a new benchmark in the segment for performance, range, tech and even driving dynamics, so it’s no surprise our spies caught it while it was testing at the Nurburgring.

Kia is honing the EV9’s handling around the demanding Nordschleife and we were really impressed to see how level the vehicle remains through the corners and how confidently it powers out of them. In this video, it looked more surefooted and agile than something its size should have any right to be, so we generally have high hopes for this vehicle’s road manners.

Gallery: 2023 Kia EV9 Spy Photos

Earlier this summer, Kia published a set of photos showing a lightly camouflaged EV9 prototype undergoing testing at its Namyang R&D center in Korea. That has been our best look so far at the upcoming SUV, although we didn’t get to see inside the vehicle.

This new set of photos that we received from our spies does contain two zoomed-in closeup photos of the EV9 prototype’s dashboard. It’s partly covered up, but we can see it has a very similar screen arrangement to the EV6, with a pair of screens placed high so that they are easy to see.

The steering wheel also appears to be typical Kia fare, although it may not be the wheel that will equip the finished production vehicle. Considering the EV9 will start at around $50,000 and top performance models may go as high as $65,000, Kia may feel obliged to add more premium touches to make the price tag feel justified.

2023 Kia EV9 Spy Photos
2023 Kia EV9 Spy Photos

EV9 buyers will certainly get their money’s worth in terms of charging speed, as the EV9 should be able to charge at up to 350 kW, thanks to the 800-volt E-GMP platform. They should also get plenty of performance, especially if the top performance variant (which may be called EV9 GT) will have a similar power output to the 576 hp Kia EV6 GT, which will sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds.

If the EV9 GT gets the exact same output, then it still wouldn’t need much more than 4 seconds to do the benchmark sprint. Perhaps Kia is planning on giving it even more power, in order to counteract some of its mass and make it even quicker, although we say the EV6 GT’s output is ample for what will ultimately be a practical, roomy electric family hauler.

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