The electric, seven-passenger Kia EV9 SUV is inching towards production, with 4WD and a light, airy interior that screams, “premium!”
Set to make its official US premiere in the second half of 2023, this pre-production EV9 was caught undergoing some more durability tests in heavy camouflage, including fun things like a deep-water wading test that should be familiar to Rivian fans, a rough terrain track and 4WD climbing hill to prove out the EV9’s off-road chops, and some high-speed road testing to see how it handles the wide-open highways.
Pre-production EV9 Caught Testing
All of this suggests that the Kia EV9 is looking to have some “serious SUV” levels of off-road capability. That’s an exciting thing to hear, as so many of Kia’s other electric SUVs are heavily biased for the street.
The EV9’s design and subsequent ruggedness testing will help Kia as it gets to work on an electric pickup, which has been confirmed as a global model but hasn’t yet been confirmed as something we’ll see in the US market.
With three rows of seats, the EV9 will most likely be the largest vehicle yet to be designed on the E-GMP dedicated electric vehicle platform that’s shared amongst Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis. One neat feature announced during the launch of the original EV9 concept at last year’s LA Auto Show (shown, below) was that the second-row seats will be able to pivot to face the third row, a nice bit that hints at Kia perhaps chasing the luxury market with the EV9.
We won’t have long to wait to see if that makes it to production. In the meantime, check out these official Kia EV9 press photos, below, then let us know what you think of the upcoming SUV in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Kia EV9 Concept Gallery
SOURCE | IMAGES: KIA, GREEN CAR REPORTS.