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Kia Concept EV9 teased once more ahead of Los Angeles debut

2021 AutoMobility LA / LA Auto Show

The Kia Concept EV9 has been teased once again showing more design details inside and out. In full show is the crossover’s boxy, upright styling, which is reminiscent of the Telluride. The front end gets cool pixel-like LED headlights to create the new digital tiger fact look that first appeared in the EV6. It also appears to have a glass roof based on the overhead sketch while the rear is an evolution of Telluride’s back end but with full-length LED taillights.

Inside, the Kia Concept EV9 has a massive digital cluster on the dash. Like the EV6 and Sportage, it appears to be housing two massive displays under a single piece of glass. The dash itself looks like a giant shelf for mobile devices while the steering wheel is shaped like a small oval rather than a traditional round one. Its center console seems traditional but it may be reconfigurable because the armrest is mounted in the middle rather than back. Kia says that the EV9’s interior has an adaptive lounge-like space, which could hint at its flexibility. This could also indicate that the crossover has a high degree of autonomous driving capability and allows the driver to relax and enjoy the ride instead.

Think of the Kia Concept EV9 as an all-electric interpretation of the Telluride. It’s a preview of an upcoming three-row crossover that will serve as the brand’s flagship battery-electric vehicle. As with most upcoming EVs from Kia and the rest of the Hyundai Motor Group, the EV9 will be underpinned by the E-GMP architecture. The Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60 will be the first three vehicles to use that platform. It will likely get a larger battery than its smaller siblings. That’s likely to ensure that the EV9 has sufficient power to support the two electric motors and enable it to hit the magic 300-mile mark.

Since the Concept EV9 is likely the sibling to Hyundai’s Concept Seven, it could feature the same powertrain components and suspension but tuned differently to distinguish them from each other. Although both could have the same lounge-like interior, the Kia could veer more toward the more rugged route rather than the sustainable luxury direction that Hyundai is headed toward. However, the sustainability mission of both brands means their respective vehicles will be using recycled and responsibly sourced materials more extensively, especially in the interior.

Hyundai Motor Group’s bigger electrification offensive will see nearly two dozen EVs being introduced by its three brands by 2025. Kia vehicles will make up nearly half of that as the company aims to introduce three crossovers, two sedans, and at least four commercial vehicles, all of which will be underpinned by the E-GMP platform. There will also be vehicles on existing platforms like the current Soul EV and the upcoming second-generation Niro EV, which will be sold in all 50 states.

The Kia Concept EV9 is essentially a thinly veiled glimpse at the production version, which is likely due out soon. Considering that the rendering Kia released today, the final product is possibly only a year or so away. There’s also a possibility that the EV9 could debut before its sibling, the Hyundai Ioniq 7. If that’s the case, Kia will have a head start in the electric family crossover game by having an EV in the mid-size three-row segment.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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