Kia has commenced sales of its all-new luxury flagship sedan – the Kia K9 – at its home turf in South Korea. Following the initial launch in South Korea, Kia will start selling the K9 sedan at key overseas markets starting in the fourth quarter of 2012. Featuring a rear-wheel-drive layout, the K9 flagship sits at the top of Kia’s global model range and is considered as a true landmark vehicle for the South Korean company.
In fact, the K9 is the carmaker’s first modern rear-wheel drive vehicle underpinned by its own platform and is a fusion of style, luxury, comfort, engaging driving dynamics and advanced features. When launched, the K9 flagship sedan will bear a different name in overseas market. Its other name will be disclosed sometime before the launch of its sales overseas.
Being a large rear-wheel drive sedan, the flagship features a long wheelbase that gives a magnificent first impression. Because of its RWD layout, the engine is located further back. This allowed for the A-pillar to be pushed back, thereby resulting to a longer hood and an impressive short front overhang.
Also as a result, the so-called “prestige distance” – or the distance between the center of the wheel and the A-pillar -- is increased. With the long prestige distance and high shoulder line, the glass house was placed far back, thereby increasing the metal-to-glass ratio of the K9.
Likewise, the pushed-back position and the small size of the glass house allow occupants to feel a sense of privacy and dignity.
Additionally, the distinctive window graphics accentuated by a chrome inlay provides a premium feel. The Kia K9 measures 5,090 mm in overall length and has a 3,045 mm wheelbase, resulting to roomy interior for both front and rear occupants.
This flagship sedan also measures 1,900 mm in overall width and 1,490 mm in overall height, thereby allowing a spacious cabin environment. Thanks to efficient aerodynamics and close attention to exterior detailing, K9 boasts of a Cd of 0.27. Powering the first K9s overseas will be an upgraded 290 PS Lambda V6 3.8-liter MPI engine.
Engineers boosted the power of this engine unit especially for the K9, resulting to higher power output and better efficiency and refinement. By next year, the K9 will offered with a higher powered 334 PS 3.8 GDI engine.
Both of these normally aspirated twin DOHC 3.8-liter engines feature dual continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and a variable intake system (VIS). The engines will be mated to the carmaker's new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
This transmission features a wide spread of gear ratios for better acceleration and high-speed refinement. Thanks to a shift-by-wire (SBW) technology with a joystick control, changing gears is now faster and smoother.