Things move fast in the world of the Kia EV9 spy shot. We first saw the prototype in mid-July, heavily covered by a black camouflage cover. Just a few weeks later the cover is gone, giving us a better feel of the boxy SUV underneath.
The EV9’s chunky nature should come as no surprise. The EV9 concept debuted in late 2021 as a preview of a future electric flagship, and with the heavy camo removed, we can easily see the shape and proportions of the concept going into production. That said, it seems that some of the edgy body lines around the concept will give way to more conventional design features. There might be some surprises in store, however, as there are clearly some faux panels protruding under the camo wrap on the fenders and quarter panels.
At the rear, a close inspection of the angle reveals the tall, thin taillights on the concept will appear on the production model. The rear fascia is less radical, and the rear doors appear to open normally instead of backwards like in the concept. Up front, we suspect the camo wrap hides a face that looks more like the Kia Telluride versus the EV9 concept. We can see the prominent vertically oriented headlights and the somewhat traditional lower fascia.
Perhaps more interesting here is the presence of performance-oriented components. The 21-inch five-spoke wheels sport an aggressive set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires, measuring 255/45 at the front and 285/45 at the rear. We can also see the Recaro seats in the cockpit, and there’s a rollbar there too. Obviously, the production-spec EV9 will not come with the enclosure attached. But it’s clear that Kia is interested in transporting more than just people with its future EV flagship. This could be the Kia EV9 GT we’re looking at, perhaps matching the EV6 GT’s 577-horsepower (430-kilowatt) powertrain.
Kia has confirmed the production EV9 will hit US shores in the second half of 2023. That means an official debut could be made before 2022 is complete.