The Kia EV9 and Hyundai SEVEN follow the recent on-the-road releases of the EV6 and IONIQ 5, each of which have received significant critical acclaim. Based on the E-GMP platform, the two large SUVs are essentially the same car, albeit with some different design tweaks and brand-specific details. Both, however, are a strong indicator of what we can expect from Kia and Hyundai.
These are large cars – make no mistake. At 4930mm long, 2055mm wide and 1790mm tall they have a similar footprint to a new Range Rover. Where both trump the British SUV is in the wheelbase department, which is a massive 3100mm thanks to the ability to push the wheels to the corners of the car delivered by the EV powertrain. Three rows of seats have been designed into both cars’ interiors.
Kia has adopted its ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy in the EV9, giving it a muscular exterior inspired by the mantra, ‘bold for nature’, but with a cosseting lounge-like interior. Both cars have an angular profile with pillarless doors – including suicide rear doors – but a squat appearance thanks to a low bonnet line and strong roofline. Kia calls this a ‘low gravity side body’.
Design features unique to each brand have been incorporated, such as a new digitalised version of Kia’s ‘tiger face’. The Hyundai benefits from the same parametric pixel lighting technology as we’ve seen on the IONIQ 5. Active aerodynamics have been incorporated across the SUVs to ensure they are as slippery through the air as possible.
Both Hyundai and Kia have styled the interiors of the SEVEN and EV9 respectively to be akin to a ‘first-class lounge’. The pillarless coach doors and a panoramic roof make for a very light and airy space which connects occupants with the outside world. The seats themselves are also designed to be like those you’d find in a lounge-like space.
Up front, a large 27 inch wraparound display seeks to connect the real world with the digital world, controlling the various driver, passenger, media and comfort features.
Hyundai has gone further with its SEVEN concept, designing it for autonomous travel whereby certain controls retract and front seats can swivel when the car is in an autonomous mode or at a standstill. In the Kia EV9, a ‘pause mode’ can be used when the car isn’t moving, using the same front seat swivel function to create an almost sitting room-like effect. The rearmost seats can be folded to become a table in this guise as well.
Whilst there are not specific power or drivetrain setup details for either car, being based on the E-GMP platform means that both rear- and all-wheel drive variants are eminently possible. Both manufacturers have stated that their cars can be charged at up to 350kW, reaching 80 per cent in around 20 minutes, and both the EV9 and SEVEN would be able to achieve over 300 miles on a charge.
At this moment in time both the Hyundai SEVEN and Kia EV9 are concepts. However, we don’t think that much will change when they inevitably hit the road, likely bearing the EV9 name in the Kia’s case, and IONIQ 7 in the Hyundai’s case.