Kia K9 luxury sedan to be sold outside of Korea starting this year

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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In recent years Kia Motors has thoroughly revised its vehicle lineup with models that boast continuing improvements in style and quality. But while the company's current lineup includes a host of affordable, mainstream vehicles in various segments, Kia hasn't made any serious forays into luxury territory. That may be about to change following the Korean automaker's recent introduction of a luxury sedan with uncharacteristic specifications.

The new, top-of-the-range sedan went on sale at the beginning of May in Korea. Though it is known as the K9 in its domestic Korean market, the luxury sedan will carry a new name in overseas markets.

"While embodying a new generation of Kia design, K9 is a clear signal of our intention and determination to compete head-to-head with the European luxury brands." said Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. "And for Kia, our customers, and for me – this car is like a dream come true."

Kia says the K9 is the company's first rear-wheel-drive sedan in over a decade, and it features a similar specification to the rear-wheel-drive Kia GT concept sedan introduced at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Both the GT concept and K9 bear a resemblance in exterior styling and both have been specified with eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Power for the K9 comes from a Lambda multi-point injection (MPI) 3.8-litre V6 engine which generates 286 horsepower, while a 329 horsepower gasoline direct injection (GDI) 3.8-litre V6 will be offered next year. Both engines come mated to Kia's eight-speed automatic transmission, which features shift-by-wire technology and can be operated using a joystick control. The K9 also has an air suspension and four driving modes including Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow, all of which modify steering, suspension, engine and transmission characteristics according to road conditions and driving preferences.

Kia's K9 can be specified with fully adaptive LED headlights, and it features safety technologies including a lane departure warning system, smart cruise control, a radar-based blind-spot detection system and an around-view monitor with four cameras.

The K9's luxurious stance is evidenced inside where it features a 12.3-inch LCD display, twin 9.2-inch monitors for rear seat occupants, a head-up display and a 17-speaker Lexicon sound system from Harman.

Kia's new luxury sedan is due for sale in overseas markets beginning in the fourth quarter of this year. More details such as fuel economy, torque and acceleration figures will be available closer to that time.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Luxury Sedan, Kia, 2012, K9,

Geographic location: Korea

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