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Kia unveiled its EV9 SUV to approving journos and EV enthusiasts. In many ways like the Teluride, but electrified. It has dual electric motors cranking out 379 hp and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. So what could be better than that? How about a high-performance version of the EV9?

Has Kia confirmed an EV9 GT?

Kia EV9
2024 Kia EV9 three-row | Kia

At the unveiling, Kia CEO Ho-Sung Song confirmed it. “We are aware of the growing demand for high-performance vehicles in electric applications,” Song said. “And building on our success of our Kia EV6 GT, we are happy to announce that we are currently developing a high-performance version of EV9.”

The standard EV9 already offers both rear- and all-wheel drive options, with 443 lb-ft of torque. But it also offers a “Boost” you can add that increases torque to 516 lb-ft and has a 0-62 mph time of 5.3 seconds. That isn’t the performance version Song announced. 

Are there performance numbers for the EV9 GT?

Kia EV9
2024 Kia EV9 three-row | Kia

“It aims to redefine what performance means in an electric SUV,” Song said. “We plan to release the GT version of EV9 in early 2025.” So, yes, there will be a wait before we know more about it. But we can speculate just a bit to suggest some parameters. 

Whatever numbers the under-development hi-performance EV9 will ultimately have will need to be healthier than the standard version. It’s a given that since the EV6 GT boasts 576 hp, the EV9 GT will have to trounce those numbers as well. And because this would be a premium model, it would also have to feature unique styling features, bigger wheels, you know the drill. 

What makes the EV9, and clearly a faster EV9 GT, compelling is its design and features, like three-row seating. It’s clear that seating for seven is becoming more important in the SUV segment, so this already makes this SUV more attractive. It is one of the few EVs offering it. 

How much and when is it available?

Kia EV9
2024 Kia EV9 three-row | Kia

Also attractive is the styling. Angular surface breaks emphasizing the wheel openings give it a taut, contemporary presence. It doesn’t look like a conventional SUV, in a good way. It follows what both Kia and Hyundai are doing with their designs, helping to separate from the rest of the pack.

In its current form, the EV9 incorporates a 99.8-kWh battery good for 280 miles of range, according to Kia. So the SUV clicks off many boxes for EV buyers for size, power, and passenger hauling. Because the standard EV9 won’t make it to our shores until the end of the year, you can figure the high-performance version should be available late in 2024. No prices have been mentioned, but estimates put it at around $56,000 for the base model. 


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