The large, boxy Kia EV9 concept that was revealed last year is one step closer to production. New spy photos capture Kia’s new battery-electric vehicle being tested for the first time, and the SUV looks a lot like the concept that preceded it. The production version will retain 80 to 90 percent of the concept’s styling, and is largely visible despite the camouflage and cladding.
The exposed front fenders on the test vehicle featured the same Y-shaped folds as the concept. Kia also featured the concept’s vertical headlights, but it looks like the designers are softening it up for the production model. The test vehicle lost its suicide concept rear door for a more traditional design.
While Kia tries to hide the curve of the SUV’s rear fender, the Y-shaped taillights hint at its wide, flat style. The taillights retain the shape of the concept, but look a little thicker for production. The cladding distorts the rear bumper and hatch, but we hope the concept roof spoiler makes it through the final design process.
While this is our first look at the production version, we have a good idea of what to expect when it launches. The EV will go on sale sometime next year in the US, likely providing a range of around 300 miles (483 kilometers). It should go on sale for around $50,000 and be capable of hitting 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in about 5 seconds.
We don’t know anything specific about the powertrain, but the EV9 will use the E-GMP architecture that underpins the EV6 and other EVs under the Hyundai Motor Group umbrella. The battery technology will enable fast charging that can recharge the battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. We know the EV9 will get the high-performance GT variant, and it will be massive, measuring 5 meters (16.4 ft) long, 2 m (6.5 ft) wide and 1.8 m (5.9 ft) high.
The Kia EV9 is one of the few EVs we’ve come to expect from Kia over the next few years. The Korean brand plans to launch 14 battery-electric vehicles worldwide through 2027. It will launch two new EVs a year, starting in 2023, so the EV9 shouldn’t be Kia’s only EV unveiled next year.