Kia plans to release a trio of highly-anticipated vehicles in 2024, including a premium electric model in India. The new Seltos SUV was the only major launch from Kia in 2023. A significant upgrade to the Seltos included a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine and cosmetic changes. Now, in 2024, the automaker plans to expand its presence in the country with vehicles such as the new Sonet, the next-generation Carnival, and the all-new EV9. The highly-anticipated flagship EV — the EV9, made its debut in concept form at the 2023 Auto Expo and was later launched globally as an electrified model. Now, the electric car is ready to make its entry into India. Kia is yet to announce the precise date of the India-spec model's release, but there are speculations that the EV9 would be the company's largest and most costly SUV, with an estimated price of roughly Rs 1 crore (ex-showroom). To learn about Kia's upcoming flagship EV and other anticipated models, read on.
2024 Kia Sonet Facelift
Although bookings for the Kia Sonet Facelift are currently being taken for Rs 25,000, the price announcement for the vehicle is yet to be made. Its powertrain options include a 1.5-litre diesel engine with 114bhp and 250Nm, a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo-petrol engine with 118bhp and 172Nm, and a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 82bhp and 115Nm. The petrol engine comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, whereas the more robust turbo-petrol motor comes with either a 6-speed iMT or a 7-speed DCT. Meanwhile, the diesel engine gets a six-speed manual (MT), a six-speed iMT, and a six-speed AT gearbox options. It's worth mentioning that the available engines are essentially the same as the previous Sonet. However, the car now comes with a diesel manual option.
A 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a digital instrument cluster, heated front seats, ABS with EBD, ESC, power-adjustable front seats, an electric sunroof, Level-1 ADAS, and six airbags are among the features of the Sonet SUV. With new features and upgrades, the SUV is expected to have a higher price range than the existing model, which is priced between Rs 7.79 lakh and Rs 14.89 lakh, ex-showroom.
The EV9, Kia's flagship electric SUV, is going to sit above the EV6 in the carmaker's Indian portfolio. It is expected to hit our streets in the second half of 2024, with an estimated price tag of about Rs 1 crore (ex-showroom). The electrified SUV is available in both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) arrangements on the global market. The standard RWD version is said to achieve 100 km/h from a complete stop in 8.2 seconds, with a 76.1kWh battery that provides 218bhp and 350Nm. The RWD Long Range model, powered by a 99.8kWh battery, goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds and generates 350Nm and 204bhp.
The AWD variant's mechanical parts consist of a 99.8kWh battery pack and two motors, one for each axle. It can produce 600Nm and 380bhp, and go from a standstill to 100 km/h in 6 seconds. However, the acceleration time can be reduced to 5.3 seconds with an OTA software update. While there is no official announcement, the Long Range Version is likely to be available in our market. Kia is probably going to release the EV9 as a CBU unit in India with plenty of convenience and safety features.
Next-gen Kia Carnival
In the second quarter of 2024, Kia's all-new Carnival is probably going to make its way to Indian shores. The global-spec Kia Carnival Facelift sports LED daytime running lights, a bigger tiger-nose grille, and L-shaped headlights. It has revised L-shaped LED taillamps, a reworked bumper, and an integrated LED light bar at the rear.
It's currently unknown if these cosmetic enhancements will make it into the version destined for India. However, the automaker is expected to introduce the revamped MPV in our nation with dual sunroof options and ADAS technology, which will provide capabilities like high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, and collision avoidance assistance. In terms of the powertrain, the upcoming Kia Carnival facelift is expected to be powered by the same 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 200bhp and 400Nm.