The EV9 is Kia’s concept car designed to preview a 100% electric production model coming to market in 2024. Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2021, the EV9 is the Korean manufacturer’s second model to take advantage of the E-GMP platform, designed exclusively for zero-emission cars. What were the focal points of its design? We asked Gregory Guillaume, Vice President Design at Kia Europe.

Which design centres worked on this project?

The Kia Concept EV9 is a result of a collaboration between leading Kia design teams, including Kia Design Centre America and the Interior Design Team in Seoul, Korea.

Was the Concept EV9 developed entirely digitally? Did you use virtual reality?

Yes, we used VR with the development of the interior and exterior design as that is common in our industry. On top, we also used a full size ‘prove out’ model in addition to VR to evaluate our created math data. Concept EV9 was developed using the CMF Design method, which considered the colours and patterns that are reflected in nature. The inspiration behind the EV9 was based on visualising the simplicity of nature’s perfection, and its contrasts that work together in perfect harmony. . Its design was largely influenced by the ‘Water Element’ as is evident in Concept EV9’s exterior colour which mimics the ocean and is contrasted by calming clear blue sky colours found inside the cabin.

What are the advantages of using the E-GMP electric platform?

By being designed, developed, and optimized on the E-GMP architecture, Concept EV9 represents the second ‘dedicated EV’ from Kia, building on from the momentum created by the EV6. The Kia Concept EV9 is a high-tech, flex lifestyle vehicle that is powered by a zero-emissions all-electric powertrain. Not only does the Platform blend the stunning exterior profile with a visionary interior space, the Concept EV9’s proportions – 4,930mm length, 2,055mm width, 1,790mm heigh and 3,100mm wheelbase – give it a visually stunning quadrilateral-like on-road presence.

Did you use sustainable materials for the interior?

Absolutely, Concept EV9 is the leading model for our sustainable interior treatments. Much investment, research and expertise has gone into developing recycled and recyclable materials for EV9’s interior. For example, the fabric used for the floor is made from recycled fishnets, emphasizing the inspiration from water and the seating fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled wool fibres. Vegan leather, which is far more ethical and sustainable than conventional leather, was used throughout the interior space. Kia plans to gradually reduce the use of animal leather in all its vehicles.

How about the HMI development?

Interaction of all kinds is evident in Concept EV9 – interaction with the world, with nature, with other occupants and with the machine itself. One of the newly developed technologies for the Concept EV9 is the three customizable interior modes which transform the cabin into a sociable and relaxing space. Communicating with Concept EV9 is intuitive and carefully curated. The interactive 27-inch ultra-wide display connects the Concept EV9 from the real-world to the virtual one. This high-tech touch screen serves as the nerve centre for all driver and passenger requirements, including media, climate control and comfort functionality features.