Kia’s first vehicle on a dedicated electric vehicle platform — the EV6 — is not scheduled to arrive until early next year, but the automaker is already hinting at its next electric crossover with the EV9 concept.
The EV9 concept was introduced Wednesday at the Los Angeles auto show.
“Seen as the clearest signal yet from Kia as to what might be the next addition to its new-generation EV lineup, the concept EV9 epitomizes the brand’s recent leadership in designing and developing desirable, high-tech, zero-emissions vehicles,” Kia said.
Like the Hyundai Seven concept also shown Wednesday, the EV9 concept previews a coming three-row crossover with ultra-fast charging on Hyundai Motor Group’s 800-volt architecture. Also like the Seven, the EV9 is targeted to achieve 300 miles (483 km) of range on a full battery charge.
Hyundai has laid out its path for the E-GMP platform with the Ioniq 5, followed by the Ioniq 6 midsize sedan in 2023 and the Ioniq 7 midsize crossover in 2024. Kia’s statement on Wednesday suggests that it’s next new EV will be the midsize EV9 and not a sedan.
The blocky and muscular design of the Kia concept is in keeping with the brand’s move toward a more rugged image for gasoline-engine crossovers. The EV6, in contrast, is more carlike.
“Contrasting with its muscular on-road presence, soft and welcoming volumes across the body of the Concept EV9 are offset with sharp and neatly edged elements,” Kia said. “Solid rock geometry is expressed through a sophisticated design distribution of its mass.”
The Kia concept also envisions different modes for using the vehicle, switching from an active driving profile to a resting one.
“Pause Mode modifies the interior space to be more akin to a first-class lounge, giving occupants the opportunity to directly interact with each other while benefiting from the light streaming in from the wide panoramic roof,” Kia said.