When Kia teased its coming battery-electric EV9 crossover a few days ago, we thought the South Korean automaker planned to reveal the big boxy people hauler today. Alas, no, the previous tease was to promote a few more teasers. During an 18-minute online presentation livestream called "Kia Sustainability Movement: Inspiration Inspired by Nature," Kia discussed corporate sustainability goals and some of the features we can look forward to in the crossover, releasing a few more hints about the vehicle on Instagram.
If we suspected a boxy body before, we're certain of boxy body now. The shaded images show a wide-bodied brute of a thing, a pronounced shoulder line separating the greenhouse from the sheetmetal below. Below that line, the EV9 concept revels in seriously punched-out square fenders hovering over a set of rather cool wheels whose design recalls a reel-to-reel recorder. Additional exterior details include long DRLs or perhaps headlights running from atop the fenders to the grille, a gridwork of inset small lights, LED taillights that are all kinked up, and a large, ovoid sunroof.
Inside, there's a rectangular steering wheel attached to the column with a single wide spoke along its lower edge. Behind that, the only adornment on the instrument panel is an ultra-wide screen, and a few illuminated indicators along the IP's leading edge. There don't appear to be any buttons on the panel or the center tunnel. During the livestream presentation, Kia head designer Karim Habib said the EV9 concept will use recycled fish net for the floors, recycled plastic and wool fibers for seat fabric, and vegan leather. We were also told the interior will be a flexible lounge space, which could mean fancy swiveling seats that will start preparing us for the autonomous lounges we've been ogling in conceptual form for years. Or remind us of 1970s and 80s conversion vans.
The EV9 concept will debut on November 17 at the L.A. Auto Show, the same day its sister crossover concept, the Hyundai Seven, debuts. The production EV9 is due in 2023 sometime, most likely the largest of Kia's planned range of seven battery-electric cars going from EV1 to EV9. Kia will likely reveal a few powertrain details in LA. Beyond 2023, Kia said it plans to go EV-only in Europe by 2035, and to be EV-only in other key markets by 2040, on the way to being carbon neutral by 2045.
You can see more of the EV9 concept and hear firsthand about the automaker's plans in the livestream.