Both concept cars are underpinned by the Hyundai Motor Group’s dedicated E-GMP electric car platform, already in use on the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6. Though the concept cars are some way off production, the targeted 300-mile electric range and 350kW rapid charging (enabling the battery to be topped from 10 to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes) are things likely to be seen on the road cars.
Each firm has gone especially bold with their designs, with both the Hyundai Seven and Kia Concept EV9 looking like nothing else. Let’s start with the Kia, which gets a far boxier and imposing design. It also features a digital version of Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ front end, as the reduced need for grilles means the whole front of the EV9 can be painted in the body colour, with hidden lights that illuminate.
Meanwhile Hyundai has utilised its striking pixel LED lights – as seen already on the IONIQ 5 – on its Seven, while incorporating neater lines to give it a slightly less imposing look than the Kia. Its pillarless ‘coach doors’ also provide easy access to the interior.
Unsurprisingly considering the two cars’ sheer size, each concept offers a vast amount of interior space, helped by having a completely flat floor and the lack of limitations faced by petrol and diesel cars.
Kia’s EV9 concept also offers three ‘forward-thinking’ interior modes, with a ‘Pause Mode’ letting the cabin transform into a lounge when the car’s stationary, with the seats moving and the second row of chairs folding away to become a table. Meanwhile an ‘Enjoy Mode’ lets the car’s occupants get closer to the outdoors.
With Hyundai and Kia both prioritising sustainability, the concept cars feature a heavy use of recycled materials. Hyundai has painted its Seven in a special ‘bio’ finish, for example, while also using bamboo and bio-resin. Meanwhile the Kia is inspired by water, with the concept car’s colour said to ‘mimic the expansive depth of the ocean’, while also using recycled fishing nets to create the floor. Vegan leather also replaces any conventional animal products.
Both concept cars preview upcoming production SUVs that are set to head up Hyundai and Kia’s respective ranges from 2024.