Kia offers the first official look at the development of the EV9 three-row electric crossover. While there are spy shots of the model testing, the example in these pictures wears a little less camouflage.
The EV9 features vertical headlights on each edge of the nose. Pieces of trim span the area at the top and bottom of each lamp, which creates the shape of a faux grille at the front. The lower fascia has small openings on the sides and a sensor in the middle.
Gallery: Kia EV9 Camouflaged Teaser Images
Compared to the concept, the production-spec EV9 loses the chiseled fenders and slab sides. However, the overall shape continues to be upright and boxy.
While not visible in these photos, spy shots show that the rear has vertical taillights, echoing the lamps at the front. The hatchback flares outward below the window, and the extra space might make loading large items easier.
We know far less about the production-spec EV9's interior. The concept has a minimalist cabin. The driver grips a single-spoke, rectangle-shaped steering wheel. The digital instrument panel and infotainment screen share a single bezel that floats above the dashboard.
Gallery: Kia EV9 Concept
Powertrain details are not yet available for the EV9. The specs for the concept include an estimated range of 300 miles (483 kilometers) and projected acceleration to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in the 5.x-second range. Since it rides on the same Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) platform as the EV6, the two vehicles might share some drivetrain components.
The EV9 is undergoing final testing at Kia's Namyang research and development center in South Korea. The evaluations include testing the all-wheel-drive system by climbing hills and checking the vehicle's water-wading capability. This suggests the automaker wants the EV to have some rugged ability, rather than just being a three-row people carrier.
Kia will position the EV9 as the brand's new flagship offering. The full debut will happen in the first quarter of 2023. The company already confirms sales starting in the second half of that year. Prices reportedly begin at around $50,000.