Kia Concept EV9 is the future of full-size American SUVs


Kia’s EV9 concept, which is on display this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is everything I hoped to drive as a kid while watching “The Jetsons” cartoons on Saturday mornings.

Boxy, with triangular and trapezoidal shapes dotted throughout, the Kia Concept EV9 is a promise of the future that we cannot quite grasp but can see on the horizon. The Concept EV9 is the next step/evolution of Kia’s “Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP)” which already underpins the 2022 EV6.

While the EV9 is just a concept vehicle, which was just unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we have no doubt we’ll see something very similar — and with the same name — will hit the market within the next 2 years. The Concept EV9 is a super versatile and configurable three-row SUV that will undoubtedly be Kia’s flagship very soon.

“The Kia Concept EV9 is another important milestone for us in what has been an incredible journey so far this year. Having made our intentions clear – to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions – we are proud to present to the world today our all-electric SUV concept, which merges an advanced zero-emissions powertrain, cutting-edge exterior design and a contemporary design. and innovative technology-driven interior space,” said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia’s Global Design Center.

Kia Concept EV9

The brand has been offering electrified models for a decade, but this particular EV makes a statement. Slightly taller and wider than Kia’s off-road theme Telluride, the Concept EV9 seems solidly planted. The design is clean and modern, and it definitely fits into the product renaissance that Kia has experienced in recent years, starting with the Stinger.

This Kia EV concept is intended for a range of 300 miles with next-generation super-fast charging technology, with a 350-kilowatt charger. Even with only 10% charge, the vehicle can recover 80% energy in 20-30 minutes.

This is close to what potential buyers of all-electric vehicles are asking for. those who want road trip in their electric vehicle don’t want to sit in front of a charger any longer than that.

kia ev9 -

Push the limits

In keeping with forward-looking concept car designs, the Concept EV9 pushes the boundaries of convention. The 22-inch machined wheels with a triangular piece in the center evoke the Max Headroom of the 1980s, and the nose sports a grilleless digital version of Kia’s “Tiger Face” design.

The entire front end is accentuated by a bright display that wakes up when the Concept EV9 is in use, including cool headlights that are a collection of shapes instead of one big bulb.

On top, retractable roof rails sit flush when not in use, improving aerodynamics. Replacing traditional exterior mirrors, dual triangular outcrops house cameras for fuller visibility. And check this: the hood vent area doubles as an energy-harvesting solar panel.

The doors open like a pantry, revealing an uncluttered interior. The absence of a B-pillar opens up the space and a giant 27-inch screen dominates the dashboard.

We weren’t allowed to sit inside so I can’t vouch for the comfort factor. The seats feel more streamlined than plush, with funky headrests that have what appears to be mesh covering.

kia ev9 - wheels

Concept EV9 seating configuration

Like a private jet, the seats are configurable in three modes: Active, Pause and Enjoy.

The first, active mode, is a traditional setup with all passengers facing forward to comply with safety rules.

Flip the first row and turn the second row into a board for Pause Mode, which can only be used when the vehicle is not in motion. I assume that if you need a conference room and none are available, you can ask meeting attendees to meet you in your vehicle.

The final seating mode, Enjoy, opens the tailgate and all rows face the rear. I think it would be ideal for parents watching a football game from the car or a family watching fireworks.

kia ev9 - seat configuration

KIA EV9 Concept: conclusion

Kia doesn’t yet have a name for the concept’s blue paint job, which it says “mimics the vast depth of the ocean.” If you’re reading this, Kia, I say Cerulean Lagoon Satin (please send me all royalties).

The more I look at the EV9, the more it grows on me, and no one is more surprised by it than me. Then again, what I love about ’50s-style cars are the angular tailfins and big interior spaces, and the EV9 is the great-great-great-great-grandchild of that era.

If it’s the future, I say bring it.

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