Kia's all-new luxury flagship saloon, the Kia K9, has gone on sale in Korea, introducing Kia to an entirely new segment of the global automotive market. The striking new rear-wheel drive will be launched in a number of key overseas markets starting in the fourth quarter of 2012.
With a 5,090 mm overall length and 3,045 mm wheelbase, Kia K9 offers generous front and rear occupant space. Overall width and height are 1,900 mm and 1,490 mm, respectively, which creates a spacious cabin environment.
Initially, Kia K9 will be available in some overseas markets powered by an upgraded 290 ps Lambda V6 3.8-litre MPI engine, with a 334 ps 3.8-litre GDI engine joining the global engine line-up in 2013.
The all-new saloon will premiere a range of advanced luxury features and technologies, including fully adaptive all-LED headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), radar-based Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), a 17-speaker Lexicon (by Harman) sound system, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and an Around-View Monitor (AVM) with four cameras.
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.
K9 is Kia's first rear-wheel drive sedan. It boasts Kia's "best of the best" design, driving performance and high technology capabilities and is regarded as one of 2012's most eagerly anticipated all-new models in both Korean and overseas markets.
This model's Korean market name, K9, will complete Kia's domestic market "K" series range of passenger cars, whose members also include the front-wheel drive K5 (Optima in overseas markets) and K7 (Cadenza in overseas markets) sedans.
The letter "K" represents not only Kia and the company's home country of Korea, but also refers to the Greek word "Kratos" (meaning powerful, domination and reign) and the English word "Kinetic" (meaning active, dynamic).
The "K" series trio of sedans is a strong statement of Kia's determination to offer consumers the broadest product line-up and establish itself as a major presence in the global automotive industry through ceaseless innovation and technological developments.
The Kia K9's exterior gives solid form to the recently released sketches of the new model, and presents its design concept, "high-tech luxury sedan" image, with futuristic, sophisticated and distinctive charisma.
Kia K9 is the latest continuation of Kia's evolving design DNA, carrying its family-look radiator grille, bold "high-tech luxury car" style LED headlamps, with classic design echoes in its voluminous hood. Viewed from the front, Kia K9 presents an imposing and characterful image.
Furthermore, the sophisticated and bold profile with its simple but strong character line and the innovative and stable rear view with its high-tech LED combination lamps, luxurious chrome garnish and bumper-integrated muffler, completes the parameters for whole new level of luxury car design.
"K9 is all about elegant simplicity, balanced proportions and simple surfaces," says Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. "The class-leading long wheelbase, the prestige distance, large wheels, sharply upright short overhangs and a long sweeping shoulder line all work together in a harmony to give K9 a sporty, athletic proportion and a confident stance quintessential to a premium large rear-wheel drive vehicle."
"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.
Soon-Nam Lee, Director of the Overseas Marketing Group, said, "K9 is our first rear-wheel drive large sedan, created without compromise in its design, driving performance and new technologies. K9 sets a whole new level of standards and values in the large sedan segment, and its design will be another Kia demonstration of our brand's power to surprise the world."