The new EV9 concept teased by Kia Corp was unveiled during the AutoMobility LA event starting this week and lasting through November 2021. An all-electric SUV concept, let’s not get too excited about it just yet. Sure, there is a lot of information to comb through, some fluff, and a lot of state-of-the-art tech is promised. Some of us are still irked over the early “Telluride Concept” and the complete and utter lack of the technology promised in the concept. Somewhere during production, Kia Corp made the choice to lean towards adventure and lifestyle with the Telluride. Let’s see how well the EV9 will match the current concept.
Built on the same Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) of the EV6, the new platform the Hyundai Motor Group (including Kia) will be using as the foundation for all upcoming electric vehicles (EVs). Continuing to live up to the ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, new vehicles are being designed based on nature while still making them hard-working machines. Production went so far as to make use of upcycled materials developed from collected waste deposited into the marine ecosystem. For example, recycled fishnets were used in development of the flooring of the vehicle, the seating fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and wool fibers. Vegan leather is also an option.
“The Kia Concept EV9 is yet another important marker for us in what has been an incredible journey since the start of the year. Having made our intentions clear – to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions – today we are proud to show the world our all-electric SUV concept, which fuses together an advanced zero-emissions powertrain, a cutting-edge exterior design and a contemporary and innovative tech-based interior space,” – Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center
In terms of power, the battery pack hasn’t been announced, but this all-electric SUV has a driving range of up to 300 miles. Featuring next-generation ultra-fast charging technology with a 350-kW charger, consumers can expect anywhere from 10% to 80% in 20-30 minutes. The shape of the vehicle is a little boxy with wild, bold lines, but they flow, matching a design vision of “water flowing down” for a more aerodynamic performance. A major change is in the front fascia, finally donning the new “Tiger Face”. In this new world of EVs and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), the traditional grille of a gasoline-powered vehicle is no longer necessary. Instead, the front fascia has been designed to look like a tiger opening its jaw, lower fangs and all.
The star cloud pattern returns to the side of the front fascia, acting as a “welcome light” for the driver, while also serving functions such as light positioning, Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs), and the signature look. Aerodynamics are further increased with a new air vent design and retractable roof rails that close inward into the roof with the push of a button. A next-gen camera monitoring system replaces the old school mirrors to keep the look smooth on all sides. With geometric lines that resemble rocks in the fenders and pillars, machined 22-inch wheels enhance this look, and a unique Daylight Opening (DLO) panoramic sky roof to improve driver and passenger well-being with natural light.
Inside, the EV9 is spacious and has the feeling of an up-class lounge on wheels. The console itself is bare of controls, replaced with a touchscreen, an interactive 27-inch ultra-wide display that serves as the nerve center for everything the driver or passenger may wish to control, including media, climate control and comfort. Even the steering wheel has been changed for a more “pop-up” look (see image above). From inside, the driver also has control over three models – Active Mode is always on when in motion; Pause Mode is when the vehicle is stationary and turns the cabin into a real lounge by allowing the front row seats to swivel around to face the third row and folding the second-row seats into a table; and Enjoy Mode is perfect for tailgates, turning the third-row seats around and opening up the tailgate and trunk hood for seats while still comfortable.Absolutely no word on a production model. Like we said, we’re not sure how much of this will make it into the final design. The PR didn’t talk much about tech aside from the new touchscreen and albeit voice command control. Kia has been working on all sorts of crazy tech, but not a lot of it has found its way into vehicles yet. Follow along with us on the development of the Kia EV9 Concept when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall social media.