Kia recently unveiled the 2024 Kia EV9, offered as the South Korean automaker’s new full-size three-row all-electric utility vehicle. Interestingly, GM Authority spy photographers recently caught Kia benchmark in the new EV9 against something a bit unexpected – the Cadillac Escalade. Although GM is planning to release an all-electric version of the Cadillac Escalade in the future, seeing the current ICE-based model lined up alongside the battery-powered 2024 Kia EV9 was definitely a surprise.
According to our photographers, a largely production-ready Kia EV9 prototype was seen pulling into a rest area, followed by the ICE-powered Cadillac Escalade. The two vehicles parked next to one another in a back lot. Soon after, Kia engineers exited the EV9 and piled into the Cadillac Escalade, the latter of which then drove off. Presumably, the engineers were on board the Escalade for some first-hand experience with GM’s iconic luxury SUV. In addition, the Cadillac Escalade was equipped with some roof-mounted test gear with wiring running into the cabin.
As GM Authority has covered on several occasions in the past, GM is preparing to release the new all-electric Cadillac Escalade IQ, as confirmed by a GM teaser and seen in a variety of exclusive GM Authority spy photos. However, with the understanding that the new all-electric Caddy flagship SUV won’t launch until sometime next year, it bears to reason that Kia simply wanted to benchmark what’s available now in the Escalade-level segment, at least until the South Korean automaker can get its hands on a new Escalade IQ.
For those readers who may be unaware, the 2024 Kia EV9 offers several different seating configurations, including bench seats, swivel seats, and more. A total of six to seven passengers can be accommodated depending on the setup selected. In addition, the Kia EV9 offers several different electric drivetrain options, including a 76.1-kWh battery powering a single rear-mounted drive motor good for 215 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as an extended-range variant with a 99.8-kWh battery and single rear-mounted electric motor. There’s also a dual-motor variant with all-wheel drive producing a maximum of 379 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.