At the LA Auto Show, Kia unveiled the Concept EV9, a preview of a large electric SUV based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). In terms of technology, the Concept EV9 is seen as a harbinger of the later production model – whether it is the same in terms of design remains to be seen.
The concept car with up to three rows of seats is 4.93 metres long, 2.06 metres wide and 1.79 metres high and has a wheelbase of 3.10 metres. That is 20 centimetres more than the already available EV6 crossover.
Kia does not give any information about the size of the battery in the communication about the concept car. It only mentions a range of up to 300 miles or the equivalent of about 480 kilometres. With the “next-generation ultra-fast charging technology”, up to 350 kW should be possible. Should this system come into series production, the EV9 would clearly outperform the EV6 (up to 240 kW). As far as charging time is concerned, Kia has so far only given “20-30 minutes” for charging from ten to 80 per cent – without any indication of battery size, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the charging curve here.
There is also currently no official information on the drive power and configuration. The E-GMP is basically designed for drives of up to 440 kW. It is therefore not known whether the EV9 will only be available as an all-wheel-drive vehicle with two electric motors or, like the EV6, also with rear-wheel-drive.
In designing the Concept EV9, Kia has followed the “Opposites United” philosophy introduced with the EV6 – the Korean company itself attests the latest development “an impressive visual aesthetic”. However, as we all know, this is also in the eye of the beholder – and in the case of the Concept EV9, the beholder should like edges, because the SUV study offers quite a few of them. In addition to the front design and the special rims, the strongly protruding wheel arches and the door section, which in comparison is almost widely retracted, are striking. Incidentally, the doors open in opposite directions, so the study has no B-pillar. A clever design feature: the roof railing can be lowered to reduce air resistance when it is not needed.
While Hyundai and Kia have shown with the Ioniq 5 and EV6 that they rely on an emphatically independent design for their E-GMP models and stay close to the studies, the interior of the Concept EV9 is likely to require some adjustments on the way to series production. The futuristically designed steering wheel no longer has a classic baffle pot and, similar to Tesla’s Yoke steering wheel, no steering column levers. The centre console, too, currently seems to be designed more for aesthetics than for utility, with numerous storage compartments. Basically, the layout with the display arrangement is similar to the EV6. Only instead of two 10.25-inch displays in the SUV study, it is a continuous 27-inch touchscreen.
“The Kia Concept EV9 is yet another important marker for us in what has been an incredible journey since the start of the year,” said Karim Habib, senior vice president and head of the Kia Global Design Centre. “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.”
– ADVERTISEMENT –