The future of the SUV looks very different.
Hyundai and Kia are both in the process of developing larger and more luxurious electric vehicles. For Kia, we've already seen the Concept EV9 that follows the smaller EV6. Earlier in November, Hyundai teased its own large electric SUV with a concept known as the Seven which previews the production Ioniq 7 full-size SUV. The Seven has now been fully revealed at AutoMobility LA.
Its smooth exterior and lounge-like cabin represent an entirely new take on Hyundai SUVs, and the automaker describes it as a "category-bending" product. Like other Hyundai concepts - the 45 Concept springs to mind - the Parametric Pixels and their dramatic lighting display catch the eye quickly.
The Seven has large wheels, a notable lack of any intakes, a low hood, and strong rear fenders. Those wheels have active air flaps that perform the dual role of cooling the brakes or reducing drag depending on the vehicle's needs. At the back, the pixel lighting wraps around the rear window in a dramatic fashion. Underpinned by the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the Seven has a flat floor. Combined with a lengthy wheelbase, Hyundai has been able to create a unique and highly flexible interior. Even the smaller 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 has a highly flexible cabin, so this is evidently an area of focus for the entire Ioniq family. The Seven's wheelbase, by the way, measures nearly 126 inches - that's almost four inches longer than the three-row BMW X7's wheelbase.
The Seven's interior breaks away from the conventional three-row layout of large SUVs. Instead, it's got a curved bench seat and swiveling lounge chairs. This seating layout can be reconfigured depending on which autonomous driving mode is being utilized. There's a retractable control stick for the driver that can be hidden when not needed. Ingress and egress are simplified by the pillarless coach doors, although they appear notably bulky. A universal island console, a built-in mini fridge, side-door ambient lighting, and a SmartHub graphic user interface are some of the EV's other smart features. Look up and the cabin has a vision roof with a panoramic OLED screen that displays content or helps to create a dazzling cabin atmosphere.
Hyundai has clearly focused on sustainability and in creating a hygienic mobility environment. Outside, the Seven features bio-paint. The cabin makes use of materials like bamboo wood, mineral plaster, and interior paint based on renewable sources. Hygienically treated and antibacterial fabric keeps interior surfaces clean. There's also a Hygiene Airflow System that isolates the airflow between occupants seated at the front and back, while also lowering cross-contamination between occupants. Fresh thinking ca be found in every corner of this cabin, but it remains to be seen how many of these features will make it into the production model.
The Seven has a targeted range on a full charge of 300 miles, and with a 350-kW charger, it can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in about 20 minutes. Hyundai says the EV boasts "powerful performance" but did not provide any further information about the electric powertrain. Along with other members of the Ioniq family, the Seven and its production offshoot will help Hyundai attain carbon neutrality by 2045.
"The Seven concept demonstrates Hyundai's creative vision and advanced technological development for our electrified mobility future," said President and CEO of Hyundai North America, Jose Munoz. "Its innovative interior space, eco-friendly powertrain and cutting-edge safety and convenience technologies reveal an exciting future for Hyundai SUV customers."
The production Ioniq 7 is expected to arrive sometime in 2024.