Following the reveal of the rather striking design of the Kia EV9 earlier this year, the Korean manufacturer has lifted the lid on the technical details of its seven-seat electric SUV. The number of electric SUVs on sale has increased significantly over the last two years, but true seven-seaters are still in short supply, so Kia is optimistic that the EV9 will be popular with Irish buyers.
Measuring 5,010mm long, the EV9 is noticeably larger than the Kia EV6, but it isn't quite as imposing or as enormous in real life as it initially appeared in images. It is 1,980mm wide and 1,750mm tall, with the 3,100mm wheelbase being the most significant number, as this means there is a generously proportioned passenger compartment inside. If all seven seats are in use, there are still 333 litres of boot space, but this figure swells to 828 litres when the third-row seats are folded. Additionally, a storage compartment under the bonnet measures from 52- to 90 litres depending on the drivetrain.
A triple-screen array for the EV9 dashboard
The Kia EV9 has a dashboard layout comprising three screens. The so-called 'Triple-Panorama-Display' uses a 12.3-inch screen in front of the driver, a 5.1-inch touchscreen exclusively for the climate system and seat heating, and a second 12.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The latter uses Kia's latest operating system and can simultaneously run two devices via Bluetooth. The Google Fast Pair Service makes it easier to connect Android devices, while Apple CarPlay is also available.
Owners will be able to use their smartphone to store and use a digital Smart Key, too. Through Ultra-Wide Band technology, the car will detect the key stored on the device without the need to remove it from your bag or pocket. It means owners can unlock the doors and start the car without a physical key. The digital key can also be shared with three other people simultaneously, with the owner able to control how long they have access to it.
"We believe technology and innovation promote positive interactions between humans and machines," said Jochen Paesen, Vice President for Interior Design. "Our objective with the interior of the all-knew Kia EV9 was to combine high-tech features for a high level of intuitiveness. That's why we came up with a simple, refined interior with the best layout and graphics to enhance usability for our customers."
There are several new features within the infotainment system, including a Car Wash Mode. At the press of a button, it activates all the appropriate settings for entering a car wash, such as folding the door mirrors, ensuring the windows are all closed and keeping the flush door handles in against the bodywork. Kia also intends to allow owners to add upgrades to the EV9 over the car's life via the Kia Connect store. These additional purchases arrive in the vehicle via over-the-air (OTA) updates and will include functions such as remote parking, content streaming and even increasing the car's maximum torque output.
Kia EV9 battery, range and motor setup
At the core of the Kia EV9 is the same 'E-GMP' architecture that underpins the smaller EV6. At its core is a 99.8kWh battery with rear- or all-wheel-drive transmissions. The single-motor, rear-wheel-drive EV9 has a 150kW output (204hp) with 350Nm of torque. This version has the longest driving range, which Kia quotes as 541 kilometres according to WLTP. It can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 9.4 seconds and has a top speed of 185km/h.
In the all-wheel-drive EV9, power comes from two 141kW electric motors. The front-axle motor generates 250Nm and there's 350Nm from the rear on 'Baseline' versions. In the GT-line car, both motors produce 350Nm, giving it a faster acceleration time of 5.3 seconds for 0-100km/h. The Baseline all-wheel-drive EV9 takes six seconds to do the same sprint. Both versions have a top speed of 200km/h and a 497-kilometre range.
One of the technical highlights of the EV9 is its 800-volt electrical system, which enables ultra-fast charging where possible. In optimum conditions, adding 239 kilometres of driving range in just 15 minutes is possible in the rear-wheel-drive version or up to 219 kilometres in the all-wheel-drive car. Furthermore, the EV9 is capable of bi-directional charging, so the energy stored in the battery can power external devices. Also available are Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) and Vehicle-to-Building or Vehicle-to-Home (V2B/V2H), meaning it can transfer energy directly to the grid or power a home. The theory is that when the car is charged overnight with off-peak electricity, it can transmit power back during peak periods to help balance the grid load.
First examples of the Kia EV9 will arrive in Ireland at the end of 2023, with full sales in time for the '241' registration plate in January 2024. Irish pricing for the EV9 has yet to be announced.