Kia expands electric SUV lineup with EV9, EV5
Kia will be launching the EV5 in China later this year followed by other international markets, while EV9 is expected to reach European and American markets first.
Wednesday March 22, 2023,
3 min Read
- While EV9 is nearing production, EV5 is still a concept car.
- Kia will introduce ‘Star Map’ lighting technology for its front view design.
- EV9 features a conventional three-row cabin that comes in either a six-seat or seven-seat layout.
Kia is planning to expand its international electric vehicle (EV) lineup with multiple new models in the pipeline. The carmaker recently took the covers off the all-electric EV9 which is slated to be the brand’s next flagship model. The full-size SUV was followed by its younger mid-size SUV sibling—Kia EV5.
The Korean brand has already tasted success globally with the introduction of the EV6 crossover, which fetched positive reviews and was launched in India last year. While EV5 is most likely to be slotted below EV6, EV9 will be positioned above the coupe crossover as the brand’s flagship electric vehicle (EV).
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EV9, EV5: Similar exterior styling
Both electric SUVs will be based on the E-GMP (Global Modular Platform) bespoke architecture that underpins EV6. As a result, both vehicles share a lot in common. For instance, the SUVs follow the brand’s current “Opposites United” design philosophy and, therefore, share a lot of resemblances. The most prominent of them is the Digital Tiger face upfront.
The sealed-off nose is flanked by Kia’s ‘Star Map’ lighting technology, which introduces the concept of a constellation connecting stars to a clean face. Accentuating their SUV stance are sculpted lines, square fenders, and solid paintwork. At the rear, EV5 features connected LED taillights across the width of the tailgate whereas EV9 gets slim taillights that mirror the headlamps.
Difference between EV9 and EV5
However, a critical thing to note is that the EV9 model is nearing production whereas EV5 is still in the concept stage. This difference can be seen in the EV5’s interior layout which features a bench-style front seat—taking advantage of the lack of a transmission tunnel to provide more space for front seat occupants. However, it’s doubtful that such a setup would be present in the final production model.
Another notable highlight of EV5 is the Rolls Royce-like rear-hinged doors that offer better ingress and egress (entering and exiting the vehicle), but it remains to be seen if this feature will be retained upon the car’s launch.
On the other hand, EV9 goes for a conventional three-row cabin that comes in either a six-seat or seven-seat layout. The former comes with two captain seats in the middle row. Moreover, the seats in the second row can be effortlessly swivelled 180 degrees to face the third-row seats.
Another prominent difference is the size of the electric SUVs. The EV5 is roughly the same size as Kia Sportage whereas EV9 carries the same proportions as the brand’s current flagship model—Telluride.
Kia has remained tightlipped regarding the powertrain details of both models. That said, both SUVs are likely to be offered in two-wheel as well as four-wheel drive configurations. EV5 is expected to come with the same 77kWh battery pack seen in EV6, which should be good enough to offer a maximum range of around 482 km.
EV9 is expected to feature a larger 100kWh battery pack which can offer a maximum range of around 543 km. Since both models will be underpinned by the E-GMP architecture, they will be capable of rapid charging at up to 350kW to give 100 km of range in just six minutes.
As for the performance, the top-spec twin-motor GT-Line S variant of EV9 can sprint 0-100 kmph in just 5.0 seconds. Out of the two, EV5 is expected to hit markets first in China later this year, while there is no specific launch timeline for EV9. Neither of the two electric SUVs is likely to launch in India anytime soon.
(Images courtesy: Hyundai)
Edited by Kanishk Singh