Kia Australia has revealed that their new top of the range EV9 electric SUV has finished a thorough Australian ride and handling tune ahead of its arrival into dealer showrooms in October. They anticipate supply will be 100 vehicles per month.
The Kia EV9 will be introduced in Australia with both the long-range 99.8 kWh AWD and standard-range 76.1 kWh RWD battery options.
Further details on local specifications for the Kia EV9 will be announced closer to its October launch date.
The EV9 is Kia’s first three-row electric flagship SUV and they say it has been designed to deliver new standards of space, practicality, flexibility, comfort and technology.
Kia Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Damien Meredith commented:
“Kia is about to liven up both the Upper Large SUV segment and electric vehicle market, with the addition of the all-new and very unique, Kia EV9”
“It’s big, full electric on a dedicated EV platform, provides seven seats, equipped with some really impressive technology and it’s locally tuned; there really isn’t an apples to apples competitor in the local new car market”.
Developed over a period of 44 months every facet of the EV9 has been pushed to the limits of durability at both Kia’s global Namyang R&D Center in Korea and most recently, locally on Australian roads.
During the global testing phase of the Kia EV9, it was relentlessly subjected to a gruelling verification program on a 4WD climbing hill and a rough terrain track, as well as a deep-water wading test, to ensure maximum reliability even in the most challenging conditions. Kia’s high-speed, handling, and low-friction tracks placed every element of the EV9’s performance and road holding under the strictest scrutiny.
The Kia EV9 has now been put to the test with Kia Australia’s local ride and handling testing regimen ensuring its overall vehicle dynamics meet the expectations of Australian drivers, following the precedent set by the EV6 before it.
Kia Australia’s Chief Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold added
“In line with the vehicle’s size and versatility, our local tuning program focused on marrying the unique demands of Australian road conditions with making the EV9 a very comfortable and effortless family cruiser”.
“We aimed to make it capable not only in the urban jungle but, also enjoyable on a long drive and on challenging rougher roads. It does a great job absorbing bumps around town and soaks up the rough stuff at higher speeds on typical country roads, whilst maintaining good body control”.
“This was also the first time we have worked with the combination of the E-GMP platform and self-levelling shock absorbers in the rear. The equipment all works in harmony for the EV9, keeping the vehicle level despite loads. This is important for this big and boxy 7-seater, ensuring front-end grip is maintained whether the EV9 has one driver, or a whole family plus cargo in the back”.
As the new flagship model, the Kia EV9 will be the most advanced product in their range, introducing several firsts for Kia in Australia including:
Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) – fundamentally builds on adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, combining with Lane Following Assist (LFA) to keep the car centred in the lane even when driving through a curve.
Kia’s next-generation Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which functions only when driving on a freeway or motorway.
Direct Hands-on Detection (HOD) sensor to the torque sensor recognition method to further enhance the recognition of the driver’s steering control, providing warnings and if necessary, deactivation of HDA 2. As well as staying centred in the lane, HDA 2 can add a degree of offset to improve spacing between a vehicle in the adjacent lane.
Additionally, HDA 2 includes Lane Change Assist (LCA) which when activated whilst holding the steering wheel and fully engaging the turn signal in the desired direction, will automatically steer to the respective lane.
The Kia EV9 will also introduce the next generation of Kia’s in-house developed infotainment and telematics system. Now termed Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC), this upgraded platform is designed to offer more processing power running on a new chipset and an even more user-friendly interface with revised graphics.
Kia’s ccNC includes Over-the-Air (OTA) updates which enable the system to undergo constant improvements with the latest maps, interfaces and software enhancements without customers having to visit a service centre.