Kia has confirmed that it will bring its EV9 all-electric SUV to the UK from next year.
The Concept EV9, which previews many of the features expected on the production model, was first revealed to the US market at the Los Angeles Motor Show last year but the Korean marque has said that it will bring the full-size SUV to Europe as well.
Based on the same e-GMP platform as the award-winning EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV9 stretches the platform to its limits. At 4.93 metres long, 2.05m wide and 1.79m tall it is the same size as the US-only Telluride, and will be the brand’s biggest car in Europe, sitting above the Sorento.
Sales are expected to be modest but the car appears intended to act as a halo model for the brand’s continued shift to electric vehicles.
No details of powertrains have been confirmed but the platform is capable of supporting two- and four-wheel drive configurations and has the ability to accept up to 350kW charging. The EV6 and Ioniq 5 both feature 73kWh batteries and a 300-mile-plus range, with up to 321bhp from all-wheel-drive versions.
Although the Concept EV9 is a design exercise, it is thought the production car will bring many of its characteristics to the road.
Kia says the car’s deliberately broad and upright design gives it a “visually stunning quadrilateral-like on-road presence” - that’s big and square to you and me. While some of the edges will undoubtedly be smoothed off, expect the squared-off wheel arches, angular lighting and closed off “tiger nose” grille with hidden lighting to appear in similar form, and for the EV9 to retain an emphasis on creating “road presence”.
Other touches, such as the rear-hinged doors and retractable roof rails are unlikely to make it to production but much of the spacious three-row interior design is expected to be reflected in the final car.
The Concept EV9 features a 27-inch ultra-wide display and an almost button-free dashboard with a “‘pop-up steering pad” in place of a steering wheel. While production cars will feature a proper steering wheel and at least some physical controls, the final car is expected to carry over the minimalist philosophy of the concept.
The concept also uses recycled marine plastics and wool fibres in the interior, as well as vegan “leather”. Kia has said it aims to reduce the use of animal leather in its cars and the use of recycled materials is likely to be carried over into the production model as car makers aim to improve their sustainability credentials.