The concept to preview Kia’s next fully-electric vehicle has been unveiled with radical new styling and a slew of clever practically benefits
Kia has unveiled the fully-electric Concept EV9 large SUV that previews a large SUV production model from the Korean brand.
The concept unveiled today at AutoMobility LA, formerly known as the LA Motor Show, claims a driving range of up to 300 miles (483km) and the practicality of three seat rows.
Sitting on the same dedicated EV platform as the EV6 midsize SUV, the Concept EV9 enjoys many of the same benefits including 350kW DC fast charging that can top up the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 20-30 minutes.
While both are considered large SUVs under the Kia brand, the Concept EV9 is bigger in every dimension than a Sorento, measuring 4,930mm (+120mm) long, 2,055mm (+155mm) wide, 1,790mm high (+90mm) and with a wheelbase of 3,100mm (+285mm).
After getting a sneak peek just last week, the Concept EV9 shows off a contemporary design that Kia refers to as ‘Opposites United’ that we’ve seen previously on the EV6 and new Sportage.
With a boxy appearance similar to an enlarged version of the Seltos small SUV, the Concept EV9 features a large glasshouse that appears open and airy thanks to the largely open area between the C and D pillars – along with a panoramic roof.
Designers have opted against a traditional grille design, with less need to cool any components without a combustion engine, and in doing so assisted in making the front more aerodynamic.
Other aerodynamic features include retractable roof rails and the wingtip-like external mirrors incorporate a camera that provides a live feed to the inside of the car, similar to an Audi e-tron large SUV or Genesis GV60 small SUV.
Kia has also incorporated a solar panel in the vented bonnet that is designed to recoup energy on the fly – though is unclear just how much energy is gained from this feature.
Passengers enter the Concept EV9 via the split opening doors that allow for easy access with no physical B-pillar between the first and second row.
The front section of the cabin is dominated by the 27-inch widescreen display that flows along the length of the dash in a minimalist design.
Sitting in front of the driver is an oval-shaped steering wheel that looks like a miniature version of the dash and can pop up when needed
Kia has trimmed the interior with a range of recycled materials: using fishnets to create the flooring while the seat fabric are made using plastic bottles and wool fibres.
Vegan leather is also dotted around the cabin, with Kia aiming to gradually reduce the use of real leather in all its vehicles.
When not in use as a vehicle, designers have aimed to increase the versatility of the Concept EV9 by turning it into a lounge area at will.
This is achieved by swivelling the front seats around and folding the second-row seats down to become a table for those in the first and third row. Those in the third row can also swivel their chairs around and open the tailgate to have a view out the back.
Concepts are always an interesting exploration in how things could be done differently and we at Chasing Cars are interested to see which of these elements make it into the production model.
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