What other reason could it have for so much camouflage?
Kia officially announced that its EV9 would debut in the USA in 2023. And that pretty much sums up what we know about it so far. The Concept EV9 was first introduced in 2021 as the electric Telluride, and it seems to be right on schedule.
The first spy footage of the EV9 surfaced recently, and, to be honest, it's so heavily camouflaged that it's hard to tell you anything meaningful about it.
Thankfully, the test driver was kind enough to park it next to some other vehicles, so we can at least make a size comparison. The cameraman also caught some interior footage, and while the interior is relatively heavily disguised, it does show some nifty gadgets.
First off, there are some styling elements we can see through the trash bags pasted all over the body. The EV9 seems to use the same LED headlights as the recently introduced Telluride facelift. And from the side, you'll notice wheels featuring the same design used on the EV6. Although heavily disguised from the rear, the cutouts suggest the same boomerang-shaped taillights as the facelifted Telluride.
If we had to guess, it will most likely look like a Telluride, but with a closed-off grille. Kia is also starting to move away from its famous Tiger-Nose grille, which you can see on the EV6. Perhaps that's the main thing these bags are meant to hide from the public.
As for the size comparison, this test mule was neatly parked next to a Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Obviously, it's a lot bigger, filling out a parking space much easier. Next to the A-Class, we have a previous-generation Hyundai Santa Fe, a more relevant size comparison. It's significantly more expansive than the Santa Fe, already a spacious five-seater.
The standard non-electric Telluride is already a roomy car, and the EV9 will undoubtedly improve on that. As you can see in the images, there is no running gear under the second-row middle seat, making this a full five-seater. Kia will likely also use the EV skateboard design to its advantage, giving the third-row passengers as much room as possible.
The rumor mill suggests the EV9 will have a range of roughly 340 miles and will come as standard with fast charging.
If these rumors are true, the EV9's range is within spitting distance of the Tesla Model X's figures, and the Kia will most likely have a much cheaper price tag pasted to the window.