“We are proud to show the world our all-electric SUV concept, which fuses together an advanced zero-emission powertrain, cutting-edge exterior design and contemporary, innovative technology-based interior space.” With these words, Karim Habib, Kia’s head of design since 2019, describes the EV9, a concept car unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show that anticipates a high-wheel, seven-seat car coming to market in 2024.

Built on the E-Gmp electric platform developed by the Hyundai-Kia group, the EV9 has bold styling that gives it an imposing appearance with off-road characteristics and evolves what we’ve seen previously on the Kia Telluride. “To design the Concept EV9, we started by observing nature. A principle that is part of our design philosophy: this model represents our vision and is a preview of our second model after the EV6 in our exclusively electric range,” explains Karim Habib. The Lebanese designer explains that there is more behind the Concept EV9 than just a zero-emission SUV: “We don’t just want to make a vehicle that takes people to their destination, but one that gives them a mobility experience.”

The designers have given a new interpretation to the “Tiger Face”, the typical stylistic feature of all Kia vehicles, which on the EV9 further evolves into the “Digital Tiger Face” to achieve a more modern and technological face without unnecessary openings that are no longer functional to cooling the heat engine. The design of the front air intakes reduces the section of the vehicle improving its aerodynamics. The area of the hood ventilation duct is also used as a solar panel that helps recover part of the electrical energy used by the Concept EV9. The profile is defined by a few sharp lines, while the beltline runs around the vehicle at the same height both in the profile and at the rear, where we find the slim and vertically developed headlights.

The interior of the EV9 is inspired by a luxury lounge. The minimalism that surrounds passengers and driver is aimed at achieving maximum comfort on board. There is no trace of physical controls: everything is controlled from a 27-inch panel positioned floating on the dashboard, while the hexagonal steering wheel offers other information for the driver. The EV9 has also been designed for use when stationary: in fact, it is possible to choose two modes, Pause and Enjoy, which modify the position of the seats, transforming the concept into a lounge for maximum relaxation. Sustainability has guided the choice of materials: the upholstery fabrics derive from the recycling of plastics found in the sea and fishing nets.