The first car to receive Kia's new direct-injection gasoline engine is likely to be the 2011 Cadenza, the replacement for the Amanti large sedan. The Cadenza was unveiled last week in South Korea but is set to go on sale in North America in 2011.
Spokesman Michael Choo said that after production of the Amanti ends this year, it won't be long before inventories run out, and it's likely that US dealers won't have a large sedan to offer until the Cadenza arrives. Until the Cadenza arrives at dealerships, the mid-sized Optima will serve as Kia's biggest sedan.
Choo explained that the US market isn't ready for the Cadenza yet and that it would have to grow into this model. The four-door, five-seat Cadenza is shorter than the Amanti but it has a longer wheelbase and more interior space.
In Korea, the car has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Fans located in North America would have to be patient since the company has yet to finalize engine specifications of the Cadenza that will be released in these countries.
Choo said however, that the car could get Kia's new direct-injection gasoline engine. If ever the company will finally start utilizing its new Type N platform, the front-drive Cadenza is first on the list. Incidentally, the Cadenza is 286 pounds lighter than the Amanti due to its lighter, stronger body shell and new suspension.
Watch out for the Cadenza's global auto show debut on Dec. 12 at the Riyadh Motor Show in Saudi Arabia. Kia's Hwasung assembly plant in South Korea will produce the car.
South Korean residents will be able to purchase the car this year while global markets other than the US and Europe will get it starting January.