Currently reading: Kia EV9 electric SUV confirmed for Europe in 2023
Boldly-styled halo model will target Range Rover and other premium rivals

Kia has confirmed that it will offer the EV9 electric SUV in Europe and the UK from 2023 as its new largest model.

Previewed by the Concept EV9 that was unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show late last year, it is similar in size to the US-only Kia Telluride and was devised specifically to cater for the demand in that market for large SUVs. But with growing calls for such vehicles in Europe, it will now be offered for sale here as well.

While the EV9 is unlikely to sell in great numbers in the UK due to its size, Kia believes that it can serve as a brand-building halo model by winning over buyers of Range Rovers and other large premium SUVs.

The Concept EV9 uses the same Hyundai Motor Group EV-specific platform as the current Kia EV6 crossover, with its 4930mm length and 3100mm wheelbase both the largest that can be achieved. Those dimensions are set to be retained for the production version.

The EV9 is likely to have a dual-motor powertrain giving four-wheel-drive, but an entry-level variant with a single motor on the rear axle is a possibility.

The E-GMP platform has an 800V electrical architecture, enabling rapid charging at rates of up to 350kW.

96 Kia ev9 concept studio static side doors open

The styling of the Concept EV9 is described by Kia’s European design chief, Gregory Guillaume, as being “a close preview” of the production version, albeit with some of the more outlandish features set to be scaled back.

The bold, angular exterior styling is due to be retained, along with the ‘digital tiger face’ front end, which features customisable LED lights effectively hidden inside the bodywork in what Kia calls a ‘star cloud platform’.

While the rear-hinged rear doors and lack of B-pillar featured on the Concept EV9 are unlikely to carry over to the production car, a number of internal features, including the stripped-back dashboard and seats with thin, angular headrests, are expected to be retained in some form.

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Significantly, the production version of the EV9 will be the first Kia to be offered with the firm’s Automode autonomous driving technology.

It will also be designed to utilise both over-the-air software updates and feature-on-demand (FOD), whereby owners can buy extra features and functions using the in-car connectivity.

Like a number of other car makers, Kia is aiming for FOD to become a key part of its business model in the future, potentially allowing for cars to be sold in fewer variants, with owners then buying the specific functions they want.

98 Kia ev9 concept studio static rear

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Just Saying 29 March 2022
Difficult to comment on a concept.
With no price or performance stats.
I'll wait.
From what I've read so far, it looks very promising...
Peter Cavellini 29 March 2022

Once they've toned it down a bit, this will look similar to a Range Rover, from the side you can the design cue of an RR product, the suicide Doors won't make production, and as a mud plugger it just looks impractical.

HughB 29 March 2022

Good point si73 - what is the point of having a premium brand and not using it.

Perhaps makes more sense to target Land Rover rather than Range Rover - and go after the Disco?

si73 29 March 2022
That makes sense to me, as by going after the range rover, you are after Audi, BMW lexus and mercedes as well, which seems at odds with the Kia brand, up against a VW equivalent seems more appropriate without using the genesis branding.