Kia is set to launch its first-ever production rear-wheel sedan -- codenamed "KH" -- by the first half of this year in Korea. The vehicle shares a platform with the Equus, which is the top-of-the-line rwd sedan of Hyundai. A press release issued Sunday night disclosed that the sedan will be available for sale all over the world.
However, a spokesperson in Korea refused to disclose whether the KH will be introduced in the United States. According to the spokesperson in an interview with Autoweek, Kia Motors America is still studying plans for KH in the U.S. market. The rwd vehicle is also being evaluated, a U.S.-based press official has revealed. However, no details were provided regarding the matter.
In the United States, Kia has been going through a period of remarkable growth. U.S. sales increased 36 percent in 2011 to 485,492 units. A rear-wheel-drive halo vehicle could be positioned over the Optima to have a premium automobile with athletic philosophy. The Equus was a reasonable performer for Hyundai in its first full year in the American market last year, selling 3,193 units. That enhanced the less expensive but luxury-oriented Genesis, which climbed by 13 percent in 2011 to sales of 32,998 units.
Obviously, the American consumers will purchase rear-wheel, well-equipped vehicles from a Korean company. While the spokespersons would not confirm if the KH will arrive in the U.S., the sedan has been envisioned to be a Kia flagship model. Kia's overseas marketing director Soon Nam-Lee commented that although the launch timings for offshore markets are "yet to be confirmed," the all-new, rear-wheel-drive sedan will "definitely" be the "leading model" of their automobile range worldwide, featuring "the best of the best of Kia."
The all-new Kia K900 is the highly anticipated rear-drive sedan that took center stage when Kia Motors America presented its new flagship model at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, in front of media representatives from all over the world. The 2015 K900 aims to challenge the luxury sedan segment (full-size, rear-drive) with its long list of standard equipment, stunning design, and world-class accommodations, all of which will help redefine the expectations and consumer perception of the Kia brand.
According to Michael Sprague, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Communications at KMA, Kia Motors will be on its 20th year in the U.S. market next year, and the K900 symbolizes how far the carmaker has come. He added that the new K900 is also the next strong example of the brand’s challenger spirit, which has benefited the company in over two decades of growth and progress.
Sprague also noted that the carmaker’s rise over the last 5 years was fueled by its willingness to challenge status quo through products like the Sorento, Optima, and Cadenza. These vehicles have brought to their showrooms new and affluent customers and have raised the brand’s profile while maintaining value proposition. Sprague said that the all-new K900 represents the next big leap and logical progression for Kia as it demonstrates what the company is capable of as well as redefine what the brand stands for.
The K900, which is offered with a V6 engine or a V8 engine, boasts a list of standard equipment that features cutting edge technology and first-class accommodations. The top-of-the-range V8, which has the VIP Package, will add more luxury amenities such as reclining outboard rear seats. Also, the K900 Premium V6 is going to be launched with an available Technology Package and Luxury Package. The all-new K900 will be available starting the first quarter of 2014.
At first glance, you will see that the K900 is designed to impress. The V8’s long 119.9” wheelbase, its wide 63.8” front, and its 64.1” rear track all translate to a noticeable road presence. Meanwhile, the swept rake of the car’s greenhouse, the subdued cut lines along its doors, and the high rear deck lid all give the sheet metal a muscular tension. The K900 V8's standard 19” multi-spoke chrome wheels are paired with 245/45R-19 tires for the front and 275/40R-19 tires for the rear.