Just over a week after its global premiere streamed from Korea, Kia has debuted its upcoming EV9 SUV in North America, beginning with the crowds attending this year’s New York Auto Show. Many of the details shared are regurgitated from last week’s event, but Kia did share further insights into its production plans, which will soon include assembly in the US.
The Kia EV9 debuts in the US as the second all-electric model on Hyundai Motor Group’s 800V E-GMP platform, joining the EV6 crossover.
Like us lowly EV writers, many US customers have been awaiting the official premiere of the massive, three-row EV9 ever since Kia first teased the SUV concept in November 2021. That news was eventually followed by a working prototype last summer that closely resembled its concept form.
In mid-March, Kia shared the first full images of the EV9, inside and out, relaying some of the design elements reiterated during its global debut last week. Kia shared a lot of details of the upcoming EV9, but also left a lot of important stuff out.
For instance, we got some performance specs, but not all of them. Nor have we seen how its trims levels will break down, or that all important factor of pricing. During its US debut in New York this morning, Kia had some more EV9 tidbits to share, including some additional specs regarding the previously announced GT-Line (not to be confused with the also promised performance GT version… you’ll have to wait until early 2025 for that.
The dual motor GT-Line will deliver 379 horsepower and 526 lb.-ft. of torque, for a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 5 seconds. Today’s presentation also mentioned expanded production plans, which now include the US.
The EV9 will be Kia’s first EV assembled in the US
Although we have already learned and shared many of the details surrounding the EV9 announced this morning, Kia did share some additional details that are important to US consumers. During last week’s global premiere, Kia stated that the initial versions of the SUV will be produced in Korea, but that it intended to share global production plans for the EV9 “in the near future.”
Today, the Kia announced that the EV9 will be built in West Point, Georgia beginning in 2024, making it the Korean automaker’s first EV assembled on US soil. This could serve as a huge selling point for US consumers as the third-row SUV may qualify for at least some portion of federal tax credits, depending on newly shared battery guidance from the US Department of Treasury.
Unfortunately, Kia has yet to share official pricing, so we cannot say for certain whether the EV9 will qualify – but as an SUV, it has to be priced below $80,000 to be considered and we expect that to be the case. During the global premiere, the Kia team stated it is “monitoring several factors to determine optimal pricing for its customers.” The lower the better sounds “optimal” to us, wouldn’t you agree?
In addition to a lack of pricing, Kia has yet to divulge other pertinent details, including the EV9’s trim specifications, EPA estimated ranges, or detailed US market availability. For now, Kia says the EV9 is expected to arrive in the US sometime in Q4 of 2023.
The automaker said those additional specs are subject to future announcements. As soon as we learn more, so will you.