US launch of Kia K900 will test its value-pricing strategy

Article by Anita Panait, on September 25, 2013

Executives at South Korean carmaker Kia have detailed plans to bring in a new flagship to the United States early 2014 during a national sales meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, dealers who attended the event told Automotive News. The introduction of the flagship -- the K900 full-sized, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan – will be a test case on whether Kia’s formula of offering attractive and feature-rich vehicles at value prices can entice premium car buyers in the US.

K900 is expected to carry a tag price of between $50,000 and $70,000, making it the most expensive nameplate that Kia will sell in the US.

Kia K900 will also be the carmaker’s first rwd sedan in the country. Kia will time the US debut of the K900 with a Super Bowl launch. The K900’s US debut comes less than a year after Kia launched its previous flagship, in the US.

The sedan is being sold as the K9 in South Korea and the Quoris in other markets and is underpinned by the same rwd platform that underpins Hyundai's flagship Equus luxury car.

Kia K900 will boast of advanced safety technologies and luxury features. Don Hobden, chairman of Kia's national dealer council, disclosed that Kia executives called the K900 "a 7-series value for a 5-series price."

The K900’s design will leave an unforgettable impact on anyone who sees it. The V8’s 119.9” long wheelbase, 63.8” wide front, and 64.1” wide rear translate to significant road authority. Its silhouette has a sweeping rake at the greenhouse, subtle recessed lines on the doors, and its lifted rear deck lid gives a strong tenseness to the sheet metal. The Kia K900 V8's standard 19” chrome multi-spoked wheels come with 245/45R-19 tires in the front and 275/40R-19 tires at the back.

Kia's trademark grille sits nearly upright in the smooth, contoured front end. A chrome aura encloses the inner darker chrome components, which hint at the strength and possibilities lying underneath. Underbody panels meant to smooth airflow are mounted under the nose, engine, and cabin to help lessen drag and enhance efficiency.

Coming standard with the V8 are adaptive LED headlamps. With 16 LEDs delivering strong, natural lighting for improved shine, the beams (which can adjust to track the curves in the road) shine under crystal-clear lenses that are deeply recessed into the fenders in the front. Soft-glow LED lights surround the faceted headlamps. The positioning lights and fog lights are LEDs mounted low and to the furthest edges of the nose. Similar LED technology can be seen at the back end of the K900.

The trapezoidal tail lamps offer diffused LEDs for use with the brakes and bright LEDs for use as turn signals. A discerning chromed bezel slits across and hare found high on the K900's standard powered rear deck lid, making it more stylish and have a wider appearance. The standard power and heated rear-view mirrors combine automatic dimming, LED turn indicators, and Blind Spot Detection System (BSD) in a sleek, streamlined shape to help lessen wind noise. The rear fender is emphasised with completely integrated twin chrome-tipped exhaust pipes that have the same shape as the tail lamps.

Topics: kia, sedan, united states

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