Kia EV9 Concept previews the brand's next-generation all-electric family SUV

South Korean automaker Kia has debuted its newest EV9 Concept SUV at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. Hot on the heels of its Hyundai SEVEN Concept platform twin – which also premiered recently at the LA Auto Show – the EV9 Concept is forging the same path as Kia's best-selling Telluride in the design aspect. Whereas the Hyundai SEVEN Concept is about premium sportiness (like the seven-seat Hyundai Palisade), Kia's EV9 is all about rugged luxury.

Of course, the EV9 Concept previews the next-gen Kia flagship SUV, and it has the proportions to make you give it a second take. It measures 4,930 mm long, 2,055 mm wide, and 1,790 mm high, and it's riding on an expansive 3,100 mm wheelbase, making it bigger and broader than the Kia Telluride.

"This concept identifies Kia's deep understanding of our customers here in the US and the types of products and services that will help them lead the way into this important and pivotal era," said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia North America, Kia America.

Inspired by Kia's "Opposites United" design philosophy as the EV6, the EV9 Concept features an upright stance, bulbous fenders, and angular creases to create a bold and confident stance. The muscular proportions feature an updated Digital Tiger Face front clip with slimmer L-shape LED leadlight clusters with six round LED running lights that project light through perforations on either side of the blank grille design.

Kia claims the restyled grille has redesigned air vents to reduce frontal mass while enhancing aerodynamics, critical for a large and boxy electric SUV. In addition, the EV9 Concept has solar panels in the hood ducts to recuperate energy from the sun. Other neat design features include a glass roof, blacked-out pillars, slim-type LED taillights, and rear-hinged doors like in the Hyundai SEVEN Concept.

Utilizing Hyundai-Kia's modular E-GMP platform with integrated power electronics and a battery pack between the front and rear axle, we're expecting the EV9 to have dual electric motors and a 77.4-kWh battery pack. Kia has yet to unveil the production numbers, but it did say the EV9 is good for up to 300 miles of driving range. And if the batteries go flat, E-GMP allows for up to 350 kW DC fast-charging to replenish the juice from 10-percent to 80-percent in 30 minutes max.

The Kia EV9 Concept features a unique pop-up steering wheel, a 27-inch ultra-wide infotainment display screen, and three interior modes for the seating position. The internal arrangement is in 'Active' mode when the vehicle is in motion, where all the seats face forward. But in 'Pause' mode, the front seats swivel around, and the second-row seats become a table. Lastly, there's an 'Enjoy' mode where the third-row seats face back, and the tailgate opens passengers to enjoy the (back) view.

The Kia EV9 Concept remains on display at the LA Auto Show and AutoMobility LA from November 17 to 28, 2021. Given Kia's penchant for radical new designs, we bet the real thing will closely resemble the EV9 Concept when it arrives in production form by 2023.

Kia EV9 Concept Gallery