Kia’s concept EVs often get more than the usual amount of attention because it tends to incorporate a lot of the ideas in the final production models — with the EV9 electric SUV being a good example of that. With that in mind, the company just unveiled the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4 representing its “Opposites Unite” design philosophy, with an emphasis on interior vibes, geometric shapes and sustainable materials.
The smallish crossover Concept EV3 looks more production-ready, and Kia says it “offers the technology, practicality and design of [our] flagship SUV, the EV9.” That may be true, but the EV3 carries a bold, futuristic design as well. Like the EV9 concept, it has distinct geometric patterns including octagonal wheel wells that flare out considerably from the body, and echoes those shapes in the side skirts and taillights.
The windshield is pushed forward to open up interior space, while the glass roofline slopes front to back and appears to float thanks to the disconnected C pillar. “The unexpected treatment of volumes and graphics simultaneously interlock with each other, creating a logical yet emotional design,” the company added in some top-tier concept car PR fluff.
The interior is more fanciful, with a nearly button-free layout designed to emphasize the voluminous interior and create a “transformative cabin ambience,” Kia said. It features a horizontal screen mounted on top that functions as both gauge cluster and infotainment system, along with an oval steering wheel and real mirrors. The wide center console “table” converts to four modes, including “focus, social, refreshing and storage.” Meanwhile, the fiber weave materials and bioplastics make the cabin inviting and modern.
The Concept EV4 is a clean-sheet design with an emphasis on sportiness that also uses some strong geometric shapes. To that end, it has a low nose and long-tail silhouette with a wide stance, along with a “technical roof spoiler” — two small extensions on either side of the roof. Again, we’re seeing bulgy fenders, lots of bold lines and creases, a sloping glass roof and geometric lighting front and back.
The interior is broadly the same as the Concept EV3, but an “HVAC user interface incorporates a control panel that can be neatly stored in the center console when not in use,” according to Kia. It incorporates handwoven fabrics in the vehicle’s storage area and dashboard to create a 3D effect, and features natural dies and recycled cotton in the interior.
Kia didn’t get into the power, battery or other powertrain features of either car, and painted both as test cases to see what people think. “That’s why we came to Los Angeles and America’s savviest EV consumers, to gauge reaction to two potential opportunities within the Kia lineup,” said Kia America’s COO Steven Center. It looks like Kia has nailed these designs once again, so don’t be surprised to see them appear in some form as real production vehicles.