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Hyundai and Kia concepts preview next-gen electric SUVs

Electric SUVs are going to get bigger, judging by two concepts unveiled by Hyundai and Kia at the Los Angeles motor show

Two new all-electric SUV concept models have been on display at the Los Angeles motor show this week.

The Hyundai Seven and Kia EV9 both preview production models that the Korean sister brands are expected to launch by 2024.

The Seven will become the Ioniq 7, topping Hyundai’s bespoke electric range, while the Kia is expected to retain its EV9 moniker, slotting in above the recently launched Kia EV6.

Both concepts on display in Los Angeles are aggressively styled and would expect to be toned down somewhat for production, though Hyundai is hinting that its future electric vehicles will be innovative, “changing the paradigm of electric vehicle customer experiences.” Certainly the recently launched Ioniq 5 retained much of the styling of the 45 concept that preceded it.

The Seven concept boasts a streamlined low-looking roofline and steeply raked-back windscreen, though Hyundai adds that it is spacious within, thanks to the bespoke electric chassis that allows a 3.2-metre long wheelbase.

Access is easy too through ‘suicide doors’, which are rear-hinged with no central pillar, into what the car’s designers describe as “a more fluid interior layout”, furnished “like a premium lounge”. This includes a facility for the seats to swivel through 180 degrees.

The Kia EV9 takes a different approach, its size, upright stance and shape reminiscent of a Range Rover – the confident Korean brands will be targeting the likes of Land Rover and Volvo with their new SUVs, but offering upmarket electric motoring at a significantly lower price.

Like the Hyundai the EV9 concept boasts rear-hinged doors and seats that swivel, though it is thought many of these features are likely to be reined back for the production version.

Mechanically the two vehicles are similar and will remain so into production, using the group’s bespoke electric chassis that is also employed on the Kia EV6. They are likely to employ the largest 77kWh battery, as befits range-topping vehicles.

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.