Kia’s height of luxury
But whatever the name, the striking new model will power the popular Kia brand into an entirely new segment of the global market.
The new flagship tops Kia’s worldwide range and is a true landmark vehicle for the company.
It is their first modern rear-wheel-drive vehicle using its own platform, and it combines stylish design with luxurious comfort, engaging driving dynamics and advanced high-tech features.
Soon-Nam Lee, Director of Kia’s Overseas Marketing Group, says proudly: “This is our first rear-wheel-drive large sedan for more than a decade.
“It sets new standards for advanced design, new technologies and driving performance, representing the ‘’best of the best’ of Kia.
“The K9, demonstrating once again our brand’s power to surprise, will entice an entirely new customer group of progressive, forward-looking consumers to Kia for the first time.”
It has been launched with two versions of the Hyundai/Kia DOHC 3.8-litre Lambda V6 engine, with boosted power output, better efficiency and enhanced refinement for the new vehicle.
One is rated at 286 horsepower and the other, boasting direct-injection, at 329 horsepower, and both will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Kia also says the direct-injection 329-horsepower engine will join the global engine line-up next year, which means you can expect the more powerful V6, and also a V8 powerplant to make the journey for theUSlaunch.
Designing for a rear-wheel drive platform has provided Kia with an opportunity for proportions that define luxury.
And when it does spread its wings to the overseas markets, the pride of the South Korean company will premiere a range of luxury features and technologies which are second to none.
To compete with cars like the BMW 7-Series, Kia has loaded the K9 with premium features like LED headlamps, lane departure warning system, blind-spot detection, a 17-speaker sound system, smart cruise-control and an around-view monitor complete with four cameras.
A special ‘VIP’ option will offer twin-heated, ventilated rear seats with a reclining back-rest, sliding cushion and lower-leg support for the ‘nearside’ seat, together with a front passenger seat that slides forwards when unoccupied.
As a large rear-wheel drive vehicle, K9 has a long wheelbase, which gives a generous first impression. And 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 centre of the wheel and the A-pillar, the so-called “prestige distance,” is increased.
This will give occupants a feeling of privacy and dignity, while the distinctive window graphics, accentuated by a chrome inlay, give the car a premium feel.
“K9 is all about elegant simplicity, balanced proportions and simple surfaces,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer.
“The long wheelbase, prestige distance, large wheels and the long, sweeping shoulder line all work in harmony to give K9 a sporty, athletic look, quintessential to a premium, large rear-wheel drive vehicle.
“This clearly signals our intention and determination to compete head-to-head with the European luxury brands. And for Kia and our customers, this car is like a dream come true.”
Every K9 comes with Kia’s all-new, eight-speed automatic transmission. 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.
Together with the ultra-stiff bodyshell made with 74.3% high-strength steel, K9’s electronically-controlled air-suspension, with five-link front and rear suspension geometry, has given the new flagship a first-class ride and handling characteristics.
And at a predicted cost of £31,000-£46,500 (31,000-57,000 euros), the Kia company will not be short of takers for this luxurious machine when it does hit theUKandEurope.
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