Just days after Kia debuted its upcoming EV6, its first ground-up EV that will go on sale next year, the South Korean company took the wraps off another electric vehicle at the LA Auto Show today; this time in wild concept form.
The EV9 Concept is another dedicated EV, a large crossover riding on Kia’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Measuring in at 4,930 millimetres in length, 2,055 mm width, 1,790 mm height and with a wheelbase of 3,100 mm, it’s a little larger than a Toyota Highlander. There is no info on the battery size, but Kia claims the EV9 Concept can reach 480 kilometres on a single charge, and has next-gen charging that will fill the battery to 80 per cent from 10 per cent in 20 to 30 minutes with a 350 kW charger.
It may be as large as a Highlander, but it certainly doesn’t look like one. The severely angular lines are a result of Kia’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, ‘which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity’, according to the company.The front grille features what Kia also calles a Digital Tiger Face, with pinhole-type running lights and headlights (is it a coincidence Netflix dropped Tiger King 2 on the very same day?), while the hood vent duct area uses a solar panel to charge back some power to the battery.
As radical the exterior may be, it’s the interior that really raises eyebrows. A panoramic roof opens up the sky inside, while a giant, interactive 27-inch ultra-wide infotainment display dominates the dashboard. A unique feature is that the oval steering wheel is retractable, while ambient lighting all around the cabin sets the mood. The interior also extensively uses recycled and sustainable materials made from old fishnets and plastic bottles, as well as vegan leather.
The interior, which Kia says integrates the qualities of nature, movement and stillness as part of a scenic, first-class lounge, also features three modes: Active, for when the EV9 is on the move, ensures that driver and passengers are safe and enjoy the journey. In Pause mode, the seats can switch around to face each other and the second row can fold into a table. Enjoy mode not only turns all the seats to face the back, but it also opens the tailgate, giving the occupants to ‘connect with the outside environment and gaze ahead and beyond the vehicle’.
Of course, this is only a concept, but it does show that Kia will most likely bring a larger EV crossover to market at some point in the near future. You may have to make your own ‘Enjoy mode’, however.