(LEAD) Kia unveils EV9 SUV ahead of launch in S. Korea in Q2
(ATTN: ADDS 2nd photo, details in paras 4-5, 15)
SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- Kia Corp., South Korea's second-biggest carmaker by sales, on Wednesday unveiled the all-electric EV9 flagship SUV ahead of its domestic launch in the second quarter.
The EV9 is Kia's second model equipped with Hyundai Motor Group's dedicated EV platform, called E-GMP, after the EV6 SUV launched in 2021.
The three-row seat electric SUV comes with a 99.8 kWh battery and is expected to travel more than 500 kilometers on a single charge, Kia said in a statement.
Kia plans to gradually launch the EV9 in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific markets in the second half of this year.
The company aims to produce about 100,000 units a year of the new model in the Kia Autoland Gwangmyeong plant, just south of Seoul, for global sales.
Kia plans to add the EV9 GT-line and the performance EV9 GT models to beef up its EV lineup later this year. The GT-line model adopts the design of the performance GT model to meet diverse customer demands.
The maker of K5 sedans and Sorento SUVs will introduce the Level 3 autonomous driving technology through the Highway Driving Pilot program in the GT-line model, the statement said.
A Level 3 car allows lane changes and other autonomous driving functions to work without intervention by the driver. At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and will not operate if all required conditions are not satisfied. At Level 5, a vehicle's automated driving features can drive under any conditions.
The EV9 has been developed under Kia's new design philosophy, "Opposites United," which embodies its shifting focus toward electrification.
It comes with a sleek and bold exterior design, and its flat-floor EV architecture offers an interior space with third-row seating and enhanced comfort.
The 'Kia Connect Store' program enables customers to keep their EV9 constantly updated by upgrading the SUV's digital features and services without taking the vehicle to a dealership, it said.
With the swivel seat option, the second-row seats swivel 180 degrees to allow conversations with those in the third row.
It also boasts numerous safety features, such as the blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, navigation-based smart cruise control and parking collision-avoidance assist systems.
Kia plans to showcase the EV9 at the Seoul Mobility Show due to open later this month and introduce it at New York International Auto Show in early April.
This year, the company set a sales goal of 3.2 million units, higher than the 2.9 million units it sold last year.
Hyundai Motor Group has introduced the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Kia EV6 based on the E-GMP platform, and plans to add the Genesis GV70 all-electric model to its EV lineup.
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