What could these new models be?
Following the debut of the 2022 Kia EV6, the Korean automaker's plans appeared to be falling neatly into place: Release a new range of electric vehicles from EV1 to EV9. The EV6 is just the first of 11 new Kia EV models, which will arrive by 2026 as part of its "Plan S" business strategy. But according to a slew of new trademark applications with the USPTO, not all of Kia's upcoming EVs might fall under the EV1 through EV9 naming scheme.
CarBuzz spotted a total of 18 trademarks for the names "IK1" through "IK9" as well as "Kia IK1" through "Kia IK9," all filed on April 7, 2021. Each one includes stylize font and covers the categories of "Automobiles; Trucks; Vans; Electric cars; Motor buses; Sports cars."
This is not the first time Kia has been spotted trademarking these names; the company filed for the rights to these names in its home market of South Korea back in December 2020. At that time, Kia also trademarked the names "EK1" through "EK9," though none of those have appeared in USPTO filings. Considering that these filings took place following the EV6's reveal, Kia's plans might not be so clear cut. But we have an idea.
Kia recently renamed the Optima to the K5 in the US, while in Korea, the Forte is known as the K3 and Cadenza as the K8. Perhaps the new 'IK' nomenclature could be used for electric, or at least electrified, versions of these models. So, the IK5 would be an electric version of the 2021 Kia K5.
Kia's ambitious electrification strategy doesn't just include passenger vehicles; it also incorporates purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) and expanding future mobility services. Perhaps these new trademarks could relate to those plans. There's a chance these trademarks could go nowhere, and they were made preemptively in case Kia wanted to use them. Either way, we'll be on the lookout for any new reveals.