There’s the Telluride, and then there’s the Kia EV9 Concept.
For now, it’s just a concept, but this does preview the next production model for the brand. Alongside its Hyundai cousin, the EV9 Concept brings to the LA Auto Show a look at what’s to come. I keep thinking of this along the same lines as the Rivian R1S, although this concept does bring a funkier style to the mix — if that survives the transition into Kia’s production model, that is.
Actual, tangible details for the impending Kia EV9 are light on the ground, as you’d probably expect. We know this car rides on the same E-GMP platform that underpins Kia’s own EV6, as well as its Hyundai and Genesis siblings. If you noticed the short front and rear overhangs, that’s because this SUV has a substantial 122-inch wheelbase, which is a full 8.2 inches longer than the Telluride. Overall, though, the EV9 measures out to 194 inches in length (3 inches shorter than the Telluride), and 81 inches wide.
Underneath, the Kia EV9 Concept packs 22-inch wheels. Those wheels and tires are about the only circular objects throughout the entire design, as there are more lines, creases and angles than you can count all the way around, inside and out. Unlike the Hyundai Concept Seven, we do get a steering wheel here — although again the word “wheel” loosely applies.
Taking a look inside
Other noteworthy features include retractable roof rails (for carrying capacity or better aerodynamics), as well as recyclable materials throughout the cabin — from plastic bottles and wool in the upholstery to floor liners made from fishing nets and faux leather seats. Atop the dash, you get a 27-inch floating screen comprising all the controls, with no obvious physical buttons in sight.
The seats are where the Kia EV9 Concept plays its hand, as you get three different modes to suit the occasion. “Active Mode” keeps all seats in the forward position when the car’s driving, like any other SUV. To that, though, there’s a stationary “Pause Mode”, folding the second-row into a table and flipping the front seats. Finally, there’s “Enjoy Mode”, which faces all three rows backward and opens the tailgate to “connect with the outside environment”.
Any other useful info?
Like Hyundai, the Kia EV9 Concept will come with 350 kW DC fast-charging capability, and pack a range north of 300 miles. Of course, those figures are more or less targets for the moment, as we’re still a way off from either the Seven Concept or the EV9 actually heading into production.
Kia gave no specific timeline as to when we’d see a production EV9, though we should (hopefully) know more in the next year or two.
For now, the Kia EV9 Concept will be at the LA Auto Show from November 19 through November 28.