Kia's all-new luxury flagship rear-wheel drive sedan
Kia launched the K9, its all-new luxury flagship sedan in Korea last week. Kia is expecting the K9 to bring the brand into an entirely new segment of the global automotive market. The new flagship sedan is expected to have a different name in overseas markets. The K9 is based on the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan.
"K9 is our first rear-wheel drive large sedan for more than a decade and sets new standards for advanced design, new technologies and driving performance, representing the "best of the best" of Kia," comments Soon-Nam Lee, Kia's Director of Overseas Marketing Group.
The striking new rear-wheel drive sedan will be launched in a number of key overseas markets starting in the fourth quarter this year. Kia's first modern rear-wheel drive vehicle using its own platform combines stylish design with luxurious comfort, engaging driving dynamics and advanced high-tech features.
Initially, K9 will be available in overseas markets powered by the same 290ps Lambda V6 3.8-liter MPI engine also equipped in the Equus. A new 334 ps 3.8-liter GDI engine will join the global engine line-up next year. The normally aspirated twin DOHC 3.8-liter engines are equipped with dual continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and a variable intake system (VIS).
Both variants will be mated an eight-speed automatic transmission as with the Equus. The wide spread of gear ratios guarantees brisk acceleration and high-speed refinement, while shift-by-wire (SBW) technology with a joystick control delivers fast, smooth gear changes.
As a large rear-wheel drive vehicle, K9 boasts a long wheelbase which gives a generous first impression. As the engine sits further back, the A-pillar is also pushed back to create a longer hood and an impressive short front overhang. Consequently, the distance between the center of the wheel and the A-pillar, the so called “prestige distance”, is increased.
“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. And for Kia, our customers, and for me – this car is like a dream come true,” concludes Schreyer.
The K9 sits on a 3,045mm wheelbase as with the Equus but is 50mm shorter but slightly taller and wider. Measuring in at 5,090 mm long, while width and height are 1,900 mm and 1,490 mm, respectively, which creates a spacious cabin environment.
While the news is exciting for the brand, Columbian Autocar Corporation revealed that the new K9 flagship sedan is not in plans for now.