Kia K9 likely to be sold in North America but not in Europe

Article by Christian A., on May 4, 2012

The latest large-executive sedan from Kia has begun selling in Korea. This vehicle is likely to be marketed to North America but not in the European region, the company said.

Kia K9 will be launched in its core offshore markets except Europe by the fourth quarter. The K9, which has a rear-wheel drive, will compete against the established sedans of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.

The vehicle has a similar platform as the Hyundai Genesis and Equus large sedans, which are both sold in the United States at present. A spokesperson for Kia told Automotive News Europe that they are "growing dramatically" in the North American region, with Hyundai doing "well" with Genesis and Equus. This means that the K9 should sell in the area also, he added. 

On the other hand, the spokesperson revealed that they think that at this time, they will not have the "cut-through" in the European region where they will be competing with the Mercedes S class, the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 series. He noted that even VW had a hard time in marketing the Phaeton in the region. The K9 continues the naming system of Kia for vehicles sold in Korea. It is now the new flagship ahead of the K7 sedan. The vehicle is run by the 3.8-liter V6 Lambda engine of Hyundai and Kia.

This powerplant produces 290 hp. A more powerful direct-injection variant has been revealed for 2013. The sedan will come with a high specification, including premium features such as all-LED headlamps, a lane departure warning system, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 17-speaker stereo system by Harmon.

The design utilizes a version of Kia's trademark 'tiger nose' grille treatment. Commenting on the vehicle, Kia chief designer Peter Schreyer said that it has "a sporty, athletic proportion and a confident stance." He further stated that the K9 is an unambiguous sign of their determination and intention to compete "head-to-head" with the luxury brands in Europe.

Finally! Sales of Kia’s all-new luxury flagship saloon, the Kia K9, have begun in Korea. Completing Kia’s domestic market “K” series (including the K5 or “Optima” and K7 “Cadenza”), the striking new rear-wheel drive will be launched in a number of key overseas markets beginning in the last quarter of 2012.

Generous front and rear occupant room is offered (overall length is at 5,090 mm while wheelbase is at 3,045 mm). Aggregate width and height are 1,900 mm and 1,490 mm, respectively, creating a substantial cabin space.

Reinforced with an upgraded 290 ps Lambda V6 3.8-litre MPI engine, and secured with a 334 ps 3.8-litre GDI engine, this exclusive line-up will be joining the global engine the following year.

The all-new saloon will premiere a range of advanced luxury features and technologies, including fully adaptive all-LED headlamps, Smart Cruise Control (SCC), radar-based Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), a 17-speaker Lexicon (by Harman) sound system, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), and an Around-View Monitor (AVM) with four cameras.

Kia made sure that the K9 is also built for precision driving with its all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Brisk acceleration and high-speed refinement are guaranteed with side-spread gear ratios; while shift-by-wire (SBW) technology with a joystick control delivering fast, smooth gear changes.

The K9 is the first rear-wheel drive sedan from Kia. It utilizes Kia's "best of the best" design, high-octane performance and advanced technology capabilities, thus, earning K9 the reputation as one of 2012's most eagerly anticipated all-new models in both Korean and international markets.

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