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Kia to Bring L3 Autonomous Driving to New EV9

Kia will bring Level 3 automated driving capabilities to its latest BEV product to markets where regulations allow its use.

Its Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system claims to provide the new EV9 with conditional Level 3 autonomous driving employing 15 sensors, including two LiDARS, to scan for and detect objects in a full 360-degree field of view, enabling it to detect and react to the road and other users to prevent potential collisions. The automaker says the system, promising proactive, real-time assistance across a wide range of conditions, will meet the criteria required to deliver Level 3 autonomy in certain areas of the world. Kia is planning to offer the HDP in the EV9 GT-line model in the future. Further details on the HDP will be disclosed nearer its market availability.

It made the announcement while releasing more details of the Kia EV9 SUV based on its Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Its powertrain uses the automaker’s fourth-generation battery technology featuring a 76.1-kWh battery on the rear-wheel drive (RWD) Standard model, while a 99.8-kWh battery is fitted in both the RWD Long Range and all-wheel Drive (AWD) variants.

The RWD Long Range model employs a 201bhp/258ft-lbs of torque electric motor to claim a  0-to-62mph acceleration time in 9.4 seconds. Also powered by a single electric motor, albeit a more powerful 214bhp/258ft-lbs variant, the Standard RWD EV9 claims the sprint time in in 8.2 seconds.

Range-topping AWD variants are equipped with two electric motors that together produce a total power output of 379bhp and a combined torque of 442ft-lbs. This combination claims the 0-to-62mph in just 6.0 seconds. Even greater levels of performance are available with an optional Boost feature, available for later purchase at the Kia Connect Store. The combined torque is increased to 516ft-lbs, cutting the 0-to-62mph sprint time to 5.3 seconds.

KiaEV9BEVInterior-300x200.jpgThe model with the longest claimed range, the RWD Long Range model with 19-inch wheels, is said to achieve more than 336 miles according to the WLTP rating. Using an ultra-fast 800 Volt charging system, the vehicle’s battery pack can be replenished with sufficient charge to power the vehicle for 148 miles in about 15 minutes. The EV9 comes with vehicle-to-load capability through its integrated charging control unit enabling the discharging of energy from the vehicle battery. Users can deploy up to 3.68 kW of power for laptops or camping equipment.

Ho Sung Song, Kia president and CEO said: “The Kia EV9 transcends all aspects of traditional SUV thinking and represents the pinnacle of Kia’s design and engineering capabilities. Created to meet the needs of all family members, the EV9 also spearheads Kia’s rapid transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider, not just by its advanced EV architecture, but also through the numerous recycled and sustainable materials used in its creation.”

Kia will begin offering pre-order of the EV9 for the Korean market in the second quarter of 2023. The Kia EV9 will go on sale in selected global markets from the second half of the year.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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