Kia Motors Corp. has unveiled its latest luxury sedan that will be made available for sale this spring in South Korea. The sporty rear-wheel-drive car, touted to be the carmaker’s biggest and most luxurious car ever produced, is targeted to compete against the vehicles of premium car manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG.
In accordance with Kia’s alphanumeric labeling of its car products, the luxury sedan will be dubbed K9 in Korea and will be given another moniker in other markets. Kia will reveal where these markets are sometime this year. Kia previously referred to the K9 under the code name "KH."
The K9 is the latest addition to the company’s K series, which already includes K5, which is being sold as Optima in markets, and the K7, which the company plans to sell in the US as Cadenza in 2013. Kia has recently released official pictures of the K9, but included only a few details about the Kia's first rear-wheel-drive model.
The K9 will be built using the same platforms as the Hyundai Genesis and Equus sedans. The K9 highlights Kia’s latest evolution of the design direction that features the "tiger-nose" radiator grille, the company said. James Hope, a spokesman for Kia Motors America, said the company is still evaluating whether it will market the K9 in the U.S.
Kia, however, seems to be warming up to the US market for the K9 by attending one motor show at a time. The Kia’s sporty-looking GT concept, the styling cues of which could be seen on the K9, was first seen at the Los Angeles auto show.Its tour in the U.S. will cover the first four months of 2012. It is expected that Kia will make its first K9 delivery to the US market in 2014.