17 november 2021 | Kia unveils the Concept EV9 at AutoMobility LA. The concept car is a clear preview of the next addition to Kia’s lineup. Like the EV6, the Concept EV9 is a pure electric car from Kia, based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The concept car embodies the brand’s vision of sustainable mobility solutions, which was recently presented during the digital presentation ‘Kia Sustainability Movement’. The SUV’s design is inspired by nature and uses upcycled materials made from residual waste from the fragile marine ecosystem.
The design of the SUV is based entirely on the new « Opposites United » philosophy. The Kia design team was particularly influenced by the « Bold for Nature » pillar of the brand’s new design direction. The all-electric SUV concept has then also adopted an iconic and daring form, combining logical and emotional qualities with playful and rugged stylistic features.
The Concept EV9 is a harbinger of a new SUV, based on the E-GMP. Powered by a zero-emission powertrain, the spacious family car combines a unique exterior profile with a modern and sleek interior that is brimming with technology. Inspired by the ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar of the philosophy, the Concept EV9 embodies an adventurous, outgoing and recreational form with its robust and upright stance. The Concept EV9’s design allows for three rows of seats, suggesting a future model that is highly capable, practical and action-oriented.
On the side, the SUV impresses with its sharp, crystalline-inspired and high-positioned fenders. The low side profile of the body makes these special mudguards stand out, resulting in a strong SUV character. The Concept EV9 measures 4,929mm long, 2,055mm wide, 1,790mm high and has a wheelbase of 3,100mm. The all-electric SUV has a range of up to 483 km and features rapid charging technology with a 350 kW charger that can charge the battery from 10% to 80% in approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
The EV9 Concept features the latest form of Kia’s so-called Tiger Face, which was designed specifically for the EV era. Since electric cars no longer require a physical grille, the front of the EV9 Concept is completely painted in body color.
The new grille features a star cloud pattern that is completely hidden behind the Concept EV9’s body panel when not in use. This light show emphasizes the high-tech character of the SUV and, according to Kia, is a tribute to nature. The sequential patterns create a ‘welcome light’ for the driver and also function as lighting while driving. The star cloud pattern inspired the design team to create striking vertical daytime running lights for both the front and rear, resulting in a remarkable appearance.
The redesigned front with Digital Tiger Face contributes to significantly improved aerodynamics. The hood vent is used as a solar panel that helps recover some of the electrical energy consumed by the Concept EV9. This system provides EV drivers with an alternative source of energy when they are not near a charging station.
Another example of wind resistance optimization is the smart roof railing that can be integrated into the roof of the Concept EV9 when not in use. If necessary, the roof rails can be raised at the touch of a button. The camera surveillance system, which replaces the traditional exterior mirrors, has a positive influence not only on the aerodynamic properties, but also on the driver’s spatial awareness.
At the rear of the Concept EV9, the triangular D-pillar stands out, which acts as a visual focal point and resonates with the SUV’s angular design cues. The innovative design of the D-pillar combines in its own way with the unique glass surfaces (Daylight Opening).
The machined wheels (22 inch) also contribute to the geometric appearance and robustness of the Concept EV9. To express ‘Opposites United’, the aerodynamic design element that controls airflow around the wheel has a triangular design that contrasts with the rounded shapes. This detail creates a balance that extends into every part of the design.
In order to stay in harmony with the environment, and to hark back to the ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar, the Concept EV9 has a large panoramic canopy roof. This not only provides passengers with a relaxing view upwards, but also helps create a sense of well-being.
Like the exterior design, the Concept EV9’s interior design is heavily influenced by Opposites United’s ‘Bold for Nature’ design pillar. Kia has created a transformative interior for the Concept EV9 to provide the driver and passengers with a sense of well-being during every moment of the travel experience.
With the interactive and ultra-wide screen (27 inch), the Concept EV9 connects the real world with the virtual. It also serves as a nerve center for all the functions available to the driver and passengers in the areas of media, climate control and comfort.
The all-electric SUV has three interior modes to suit different travel situations and requirements.
- Active Mode is activated when the Concept EV9 is in motion and ensures an optimal driving experience for the driver and passengers. The other two modes relate to situations where the Concept EV9 is not moving.
- The Pause Mode transforms the interior space into a lounge in which the occupants can communicate directly with each other while taking advantage of the light coming in through the wide panoramic roof. In this mode, the seats flip so that the occupants in the first and third rows can see each other. The second row seats can be folded down and used as a table.
- In Enjoy Mode, the interior is converted into a relaxation area by reversing the three rows of seats. In this mode, the tailgate opens to allow all occupants to interact with the outside environment while sitting comfortably inside the all-electric SUV.
The Concept EV9 has a design inspired by the simplicity and perfection of nature, and how it contrasts and works together in harmony. In this regard, the Concept EV9 was further inspired by Opposites United’s ‘Water Element’, with a focus on features related to serenity, calmness and well-being. For example, the body color mimics the vast depths of the ocean; which is then offset by the soothing and clear blue sky that radiates throughout the interior.
The ‘Water Element’ also emerged when Kia’s design team was looking for sustainable and ecological materials. For example, the floor of the interior is partly made of old fishing nets and the seat cover consists of recycled plastic bottles and wool fibres. The vegan leather used is more ethical and sustainable compared to conventional animal-sourced leather. Kia plans to phase out the use of animal leather in all models.
The Concept EV9 will be on display at AutoMobility LA and the LA Auto Show from November 17 to 28, 2021.
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