Next year, the Kia EV9 will appear, an almost five meter long SUV with seven seats. That can already do a lot on its own and is pretty green.
The blue-painted giant is not yet a production car. In the design studio on the top floor of the European Kia- Headquarters in Frankfurt is officially a so-called Concept car. A one-off, with which engineers and draftsmen show where the journey of their work will go in the future. Most of these “studies” later disappear clandestinely in locked underground garages, travel around the world as exhibits that have never been realized, or are simply scrapped. A lot is different with the new Kia EV9. The production car has long since been completed, but remains a well-kept secret. Because the future of the angular five-meter seven-seater will become the present in just 300 days.
After the EV6, the current electric high-flyer with the Kia logo, the powerful-looking SUV should now cause a sensation. "Another milestone in our journey since the realignment of the Kia brand," says Vice President and Chief Designer Karim Habib. Perhaps also to disguise the real dress of the EV9 for a while, the concept car shown has clear elements that will certainly not make it onto public roads. For example, the side doors that open in opposite directions based on the wardrobe principle.
Since a thick middle B-pillar is likely to be necessary for crash safety, the production model will probably have to do without this type of airiness and boarding comfort. The same applies to the somewhat playful headlight face with its countless LED lights or the rectangular steering wheel. The latter can even be largely sunk into the dashboard.
The game of hide-and-seek, however, could actually make it onto the market. Because the EV9 should become a pioneer in autonomous driving and create the so-called "Level 3". It stipulates that the driver may temporarily turn away from the task of driving and traffic, but must take over the steering work again at short notice when prompted by the technology. In traffic situations specified by the manufacturer, the car can drive independently and even overtake automatically. This puts the Korean on par with the Mercedes S-Class and its electric version in the race for level 3.
Only mileage known
Kia is still hiding important technical details. How big is the battery, how high is the engine power, are there one or two electric engines? Clues are provided by the range of 540 kilometers per battery charge or the ability to recharge in just six minutes for a further 100 kilometers of driving. The sister brand Hyundai has also already presented its SUV Ioniq 7 as a "Concept Seven". We are talking about an 800-volt battery system, 220 kWh charging capacity and a maximum power of 600 hp. The 1,80 meter high Kia EV9 will certainly achieve similar values in order to get from 0 to 100 km/h in the five seconds mentioned.
Kia makes no secret of its efforts to equip the interior as environmentally friendly as possible. The keyword is "courage to nature". Recycled fishing nets are used for the floor covering, while the seat covers used to be plastic bottles and wool fibers. Vegan leather is used throughout the interior. Kia plans to gradually reduce the use of animal leather in all of its vehicles. "Green" is also the idea of replacing the upper part of the bonnet in front of the windshield, which is intended for engine ventilation in combustion engines, with a solar module.
This can take over part of the power supply and thus relieve the main battery. The ability to extend or retract the roof rails at the touch of a button is good for aerodynamics. Even the small monitors, which replace the exterior mirrors thanks to a camera system, slide more smoothly through the wind than the thick mirror ears of most cars.
For all its boxy size, the EV9 can do more than just an SUV. With seven seats, it also resembles a large station wagon whose family friendliness is not inferior to the earlier successful Chrysler Voyager or Renault Espace models. Despite the long bonnet, it could also push the ID Buzz to the metal. The price of the Korean nature lover has not yet been determined.