Kia’s EV9 large e-SUV to have global debut in Los Angeles next week

The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has three brands – Hyundai, Kia and Genesis – and between the three, there’s been a non-stop flow of new models and concepts. While the companies present themselves differently and probably operate differently, they also share a lot of hardware and their combined volume obviously gives HMG an edge where costs are concerned, not to mention sharing of R&D resources.

Moving forward, it’s all about electric vehicles (EVs) these days and the brands have a number of models in the pipeline between now and the end of the decade. Some of them have gone on sale, and more will be in showrooms next year and the years to follow.

The Electric Global Modular Platform (e-GMP) developed as a dedicated platform for BEVs which will be used for Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models.

In total, Kia has revealed that there will be no less than 10 new full EV (also known as Battery Electric Vehicles or BEVs) models. It’s not the first time Kia is introducing EVs as it has had electrically-powered variants of models like the Niro and Soul. These, however, have been initially developed as conventional models with combustion engines or hybrid powertrains. So the full advantages of a BEV have not been gained and Kia, like other manufacturers, now has a new BEV range that has been originally developed and engineered only for fully electric powertrains.

Dedicated EV platform for all HMG brands
The group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (e-GMP) is a core element in HMG’s electrification plans. Being modular, it can be used for a variety of model types and the wheelbase can be extended beyond 3 metres. It is engineered to accommodate 2WD and AWD drivetrains. At this time, the range on a full charge is 500+ kms but battery technology is constantly advancing, so that will improve in coming years.

2021 Kia Concept EV9

The e-GMP was used for the first time in the new Hyundai IONIQ 5 (a different model from the original Ioniq) launched early this year. Next was the Kia EV6 which was officially launched in August and perhaps in 2022, the EV9 will also use the platform. As the end digit suggests, this future model would be positioned higher up in the range and almost certainly the flagship.

We’ll find out full details and see the full model soon at the global debut of the Concept EV9 in Los Angeles next week. For now, the first official visuals of the concept SUV show another distinctive design with the brand’s EV design language.

2021 Kia Concept EV9

Large SUV with ‘smart lounge’
The profile is fairly SUV-like and rather upright, bringing to mind the Telluride (a large SUV mode). The renderings also illustrate a highly conceptual cabin that suggest a light, flexible and adaptive interior space for the occupants on three rows. With a lot of state-of-the-art tech, it is conceived as a ‘smart lounge’ where people won’t just be seated but also entertained and connected.

2021 Kia Concept EV9

It’s hard to tell if the futuristic forms in the renderings will be what is also used in the production model. The dashboard has an ultra-wide display and the steering wheel seems to be shaped in a very impractical way. Kia says it is ‘a radical new take on the traditional steering wheel’.

Aiming for 6.6% of global EV market
The EV6 and future EV9 will help Kia achieve its target of 6.6% of the global EV market share and 25% in the eco-friendly car segment. This will mean selling 500,000 EVs annually, which its ‘Plan S’ strategy has set 2026 as the target year.

2021 Kia Concept EV9

2021 Kia EV6
EV6 is the first Kia model to use the e-GMP and this model is positioned about midway in the EV range that will have models from EV1 to EV9.

Kia aims to achieve leadership position in EVs

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