2021 LA Auto Show: Kia EV9 Reflects The Future Of SUVs

The Kia EV9 Concept broke cover at the 2021 LA Auto Show and gave a glimpse at the future of the Korean automaker. Once the smoke settled and we were able to get closer to Kia’s new EV concept car, we learned much more about what the EV9 means for future models.

The Kia EV9 turns heads at the 2021 LA Auto Show

The Kia EV9 Concept car on stage during its debut at the 2021 LA Auto Show
The Kia EV9 making its debut at the 2021 LA Auto Show | Andrew Beckford, MotorBiscuit

Following the blockbuster reveal of the EV6 Concept, Kia fans and EV fanatics were anticipating what the Korean automaker would do next. Kia provided an answer in the EV9 Concept, which made its grand debut at the 2021 LA Auto Show.

Kia is making it clear that the EV9 Concept is meant to put the industry on notice. The automaker wants consumers (and the industry) to know how serious it is about the future of zero-emission vehicles.

“The Kia Concept EV9 is yet another important marker for us in what has been an incredible journey since the start of the year. Having made our intentions clear – to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions,” said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center.

Like the Hyundai SEVEN Concept, the Kia EV9 is built on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The similar platform means the EV9 and Hyundai SEVEN Concepts are approximately the same size and dimensions. However, there are significant differences.

The Hyundai SEVEN is essentially a living room on wheels. The Kia EV9 Concept is a bit more traditional in its use of interior space and has a more aggressive exterior design.

The EV9’s exterior design is sharp, boxy, and forward-facing

The Kia EV9 Concept car on display at the 2021 LA Auto Show
Kia EV9 Concept car | Andrew Beckford, MotorBiscuit

The Kia EV9 Concept is “represents a next possible iteration for the SUV,” according to the automaker.

The EV’s exterior follows Kia’s new “Opposites United” design philosophy. The EV9’s shape is certainly reminiscent of past Kia’s, such as the Soul. However, from there, the similarities end. The EV9 features faceted surfaces that set off the matte paint job, reflecting seashell-like colors in the light.

The EV9’s stance is somewhat imposing with its large wheels, 194-inch length, 81-inch width, and 70-inch height. However, that large footprint is typical for a three-row SUV. To our eyes, the hard faceted edges make the Kia EV9 seem “larger” than it actually is.

Upfront, the EV9 features what Kia calls a “Digital Tiger Face,” a new take on Kia’s iconic “Tiger Face” design. Since the EV9 is a battery-electric vehicle, different considerations are taken for the front grille design. Airflow to cool radiators is not needed, which gives designers room to play with the front surface. In the case of the EV9, a “star cloud” LED light pattern is hidden behind the front grille.

The EV9 features a solar panel for additional battery charging

Kia EV9 Concept car rear quarter view | Andrew Beckford/MotorBiscuit
Kia EV9 Concept car rear view | Andrew Beckford, MotorBiscuit

The Kia EV9 concept features a solar panel inside the hood duct that can act as an alternative charging source when the passengers are not near an EV charging station. The Fisker Ocean SUV has a similar function with its roof-mounted solar panels.

When the EV9 can make it to an EV station, it is capable of ultra-fast 350 kW charging, which allows the EV9’s battery to charge from 10% to 80% in under 30 minutes.

If the EV9 is any indication, Kia may be hot on the tails of its competitors in the upcoming EV race.

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