Kia K9’s California photo sparks speculations on possible US rollout

Article by Anita Panait, on May 18, 2012

Rumors have been circulating that Kia may bring its K9 flagship sedan to the United States, and a picture of an unmasked unit cruising along the streets of Orange County, California, further fueled the speculations. The picture shows the rear end of the unmasked K9 sedan having California plates marked with the vertical “DST,” which indicated that the unit is registered to a car company.

The picture also reveals a “3.8” badge, which stands for the 3.8-liter Hyundai-Kia V-6 engine that powers the K9 sedan. The K9 sedan on the picture features big rims, a fastback-like C-pillar and a broad stance. According to Kia spokesman James Hope, the company is still evaluating the K9 for the United States, on official note.

Hope remarked that it was not uncommon for the company to receive cars for evaluation. Kia’s spokesman declined to confirm whether the car on the picture was Kia’s because he has yet to see the image.

Despite being Kia’s flagship sedan, the K9’s marketability as a vehicle that complement its lineup in the United States remains a big question that Kia Motors America executives must answer. Although Kia has been creating a name that equals to style, value and quality, the K9’s success in the United States remains to be seen.

The Kia K9 is now on sale in Korea and is introducing the carmaker to a whole new segment in the global automotive market. Kia’s new luxury flagship saloon will be launched in several key overseas markets starting late 2012.

With an overall length of 5,090 mm, a width of 1,900 mm, a height of 1,490 mm, and a 3,045-mm wheelbase, this striking rear-wheel drive offers a spacious front and rear occupant area, as well as a roomy cabin environment.

Kia K9 will initially be available in certain overseas markets with a 290-ps Lambda V6 3.8L MPI engine. In 2013, a 334 ps 3.8L GDI engine will be joining its global engine lineup.

Additionally, Kia K9 will premiere advanced technologies and luxury features, including a Lane Departure Warning System, radar-based Blind-Spot Detection, fully adaptive all-LED headlamps, a 17-speaker Lexicon sound system, an Around-View Monitor with four cameras, and Smart Cruise Control.

Moreover, every K9 comes with the brand’s all-new 8-speed automatic transmission. Also, the gear ratios’ wide spread ensures high-speed refinement as well as brisk acceleration, while shift-by-wire technology with joystick control guarantees fast and smooth gear changes.

The K9 is the Korean automotive company’s first rear-wheel drive sedan. The car boasts the brand’s best-of-the-best design, high technology capabilities, and excellent driving performance. It is also regarded as one of the most eagerly anticipated all-new range of models for 2012, both in Korean and in overseas markets.

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