Kia’s K9, its all-new luxury flagship saloon, has started selling in Korea, launching the brand into a totally new segment in the worldwide auto market. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Kia will start launching the new rear-wheel drive in several major overseas markets. K9 has an overall length of 5,090 mm and a wheelbase that spans 3,045 mm.
It also offers a significant front and rear occupant space. The model’s cabin appears spacious with its overall width of 1,900 mm and length of 1,490 mm. At the start, the K9 will be offered in a few overseas markets powered by an upgraded 290 ps Lambda V6 3.8-litre MPI engine, with a 334 ps 3.8-litre GDI engine entering the global engine lineup in 2013.
The all-new saloon will launch a lineup of advanced luxury features and technologies, such as the 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. Each K9 gets the all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is brisk and there’s refinement in reaching high speeds due to the wide spread of gear ratios.
Meanwhiile, the shift-by-wire (SBW) technology with a joystick control results to quick, smooth gear changes. Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, said that K9 is about “elegant simplicity, balanced proportions and simple surfaces.”
He said that K9 possesses sporty, athletic measurements as the result of the top-of-the-class long wheelbase, the prestige distance, big wheels, sharply upright short overhangs and a long sweeping shoulder line. He also boasted of its confident stance typical of a premium large rear-wheel drive vehicle.