Concept Reveals Kia’s Vision on its BEV Autonomous Future

Kia has unveiled its latest BEV concept which is, hardly surprisingly, a mid-sized SUV but one aimed at increasingly autonomous future.

That’s because it claims two specific stationary modes for occupants’ entertainment possibilities suggesting the onboard possibilities when the vehicle is in full automated drive mode. The Concept EV9 exemplifies Kia’s rationale on the SUV form for a more sustainable mobility era.

A production version of Concept EV9 is now confirmed for Europe in 2023 and will build on the success that the acclaimed EV6 crossover has achieved since its launch last year. Aimed at the mid-sized SUV market, the concept measures 4,930mm (16.2ft) long, 2,055mm (6.7ft) wide, 1,790mm (5.9ft) high with a wheelbase of 3,100mm (10.2ft).

Inside the all-electric SUV there’s the usual design drive towards a luxury lounge experience. An interactive 27-inch wide display connects the Concept EV9 from the real-world to the virtual one, while serving as the nerve center for all driver and passenger requirements, including media, climate control and comfort functionality features.

Interior modes include Active Mode is when on the move, making sure the driver and passengers are focused on the driving experience. However, when stationary there’s Pause Mode which modifies the interior space to be more akin to a lounge, giving occupants the opportunity to directly interact with each other while benefiting from the light from the wide panoramic roof. In this mode, the seats switch around to enable occupants seated in the first-row and third-row to face each other. The second-row seats fold down and become a table, completing the first-class lounge arrangement.

The second stationary mode is Enjoy Mode, which opens the interior into a downtime breakout space by turning around the three-row seat configuration. In this mode, the tailgate opens, giving all occupants the opportunity to connect with the outside environment and gaze ahead and beyond the vehicle while sitting comfortably inside.

Karim Habib, senior vice-president and head of Kia Global Design Center, said: “In the Concept EV9, we are showcasing how the SUV of today can evolve to play a fundamental role in the sustainable mobility era. The nucleus of the Concept EV9 is a cutting-edge exterior design, a contemporary and innovative tech-based interior space and an advanced all-electric powertrain and these are the core principles that will shape our future SUV creations.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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