Kia will pull the covers off the next all-electric model in its line-up this Thursday when it reveals the new EV9 on Thursday.
The crossover will be about the same size as the South Korean carmaker’s popular Telluride though it is unclear whether the production version of the Kia EV9 will also be a seven-seater.
The Nov. 11 debut comes just ahead of the formal debut of the Hyundai Seven concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 17. The Seven is expected to return in production form as the Ioniq 7, Hyundai’s all-electric counterpart to the Palisade SUV.
Next step in a major EV rollout for both brands
The two brands compete fiercely in the U.S. and other markets but are owned by the same parent, the Hyundai Motor Group. And they have jointly developed a skateboard-like platform, the E-GMP, which will be used for a wide range of upcoming battery-electric vehicles.
In Kia’s case, it promised earlier this year to have 11 all-electric models in production by 2026. For its part, the bigger Hyundai brand is targeting 23 BEVs by 2025.
The rollout for both marques will begin in the coming months. Hyundai will beat its sibling to market with the Ioniq 5 crossover set to go on sale before the end of this year. The comparably sized Kia EV6 will reach U.S. showrooms before mid-2022.
While Hyundai and Kia have been working to further differentiate their product designs, the EV9 and Ioniq 7 will have similar silhouettes, based on the teasers the two brands have released.
The EV9 will have a far more blunt and upright front end than the knife-edged EV6 crossover. But Kia has made clear that its all-electric models will adopt a new design language that will largely abandon the “tiger nose” face of its current line-up.
As for their cabins, both the Hyundai Ioniq 7 and Kia EV9 will take advantage of the benefits provided by the E-GMP platform. With batteries and motors mounted below their load floors they’ll repurpose some of the space traditionally devoted to the engine compartment, yielding even more room for passengers and cargo.
They also appear to be following a similar approach in terms of design language. The Hyundai concept coming to Los Angeles will boast a “lounge ambience,” the automaker said last week, and Kia may be moving in the same direction.
How close the concepts will be to the production models is uncertain.
As for drivetrains, the E-GMP platform offers significant flexibility. Both of the crossovers are expected to offer a choice of battery packs, with the largest options delivering perhaps 300 miles or more.
They’ll likely be available with both single- and twin-motor layouts. The EV6 GT will deliver as much as 546 horsepower and 576 pound-feet of torque. It’s unclear if either Kia or Hyundai would push that far with their big new family-oriented BEV crossovers, however.
Unlike many competitors, Hyundai is using an advanced electrical architecture using silicon carbide, rather than conventional silicon power chips. That allows the E-GMP platform to operate at 800, rather than 400 volts. That has numerous benefits, including quicker charging time. Both the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 also offer bidirectional charging. That allows a motorist to draw power from the pack at a camp or work site, or if a home is hit by a blackout. That feature is likely to be offered with the EV9 and Ioniq 7, as well.