Update: Added 12 images to a new photo gallery, featured below.

Things are moving fast in the world of Kia EV9 spy shots. We caught our first look at a prototype in mid-July, heavily obscured by black camouflaged coverings. Just a few weeks later those coverings are gone, giving us a better taste of the boxy SUV underneath.

The EV9's chunky nature shouldn't come as a surprise. The EV9 Concept debuted in late 2021 as a preview of the future electric flagship, and with the heavy camo removed, we can easily see the concept's shape and proportions will make it to production. That said, it appears some of the edgy body lines around the concept will give way to more conventional design features. There could be some surprises in store, however, as there are clearly some false panels protruding beneath the camo wrap on the fenders and quarter panels.

Gallery: Kia EV9 Additional Spy Photos

At the back, a close examination of the corners shows the tall, thin taillights on the concept will appear on the production model. The rear fascia isn't as radical, and the rear doors appear to open normally instead of backward as they did in the concept. At the front, we suspect the camo wrap hides a face more akin to the Kia Telluride versus the EV9 concept. We can see prominent vertically-oriented headlights and a rather traditional-looking lower fascia.

Gallery: Kia EV9 New Spy Photos

Perhaps of greater interest here are the presence of performance-oriented components. 21-inch five-spoke wheels wear an aggressive set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires, measuring 255/45 in the front and 285/45 at the rear. We can also see Recaro seats in the cockpit, and there's a rollbar in there as well. Obviously, the production-spec EV9 won't come with a cage installed. But it's clear that Kia is interested in hauling more than just people with its future EV flagship. This could be a Kia EV9 GT we're looking at, possibly matching the EV6 GT's 577-horsepower (430-kilowatt) powertrain.

Kia has already confirmed the production EV9 will reach US shores in the second half of 2023. That means an official debut could take before 2022 is done.

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