Kia has been working on a rear-wheel-drive, full-size flagship sedan based partially on the Hyundai Genesis. The car, which is called the Kia K9, has just been released in Korea and may arrive with a different name if sold in the U.S.
Kia unleashes big sedan
In 2011, according to Car and Driver, Kia took a concept car to the Frankfurt Auto Show, ostensibly to show the Germans that Kia can play their game, called the Kia GT. The Kia GT was a big, four-door, rear-wheel-drive sedan, with a 390-horsepower turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 engine.
The car, based on the Hyundai Genesis, was sleek and stylish. Sometime after its auto show debut, Kia announced the car was going into production. The production version of the car, according to AutoBlog, is called the Kia K9. It has just gone on sale in Korea, Kia’s home country.
The car didn’t change too much from the concept; it’s still got four doors and still rear-wheel-drive. It’s also still sleek and stylish and with the grill from the Optima, strongly resembles a BMW 5 series. However, it isn’t likely to be sold under the same name everywhere.
Neither confirmed nor denied
Kia has not explicitly said the K9 will be sold in the United States, according to Automobile magazine, but the company has not denied it either. However, it is going international starting in the fourth quarter of this year, according to AutoBlog.
The K9 is being offered with two engines, neither of which are the turbo 3.3-liter in the concept car. Instead, there are two versions of Kia and Hyundai’s Lamba 3.8-liter V-6. One produces 286 horsepower and the other, tuned differently and with a different fuel injection system, makes 329. The more powerful engine isn’t going to be sold until the car is released internationally. It is only offered with an eight-speed transmission.
The car slots almost exactly between the Equus, Hyundai’s full-size luxury land yacht, and the Genesis sedan, as the 200-inch long K9 is roughly three inches shorter than the Equus and roughly four inches longer than the Genesis. Options include four cameras with a monitor, lane-departure warning system, an adaptive suspension and engine settings with four drive modes, entertainment system for rear seat occupants and a Karman audio system can be had, according to MotorAuthority.
Worth a look
At 200 inches, it is also longer than other mid-size luxury vehicles. Assuming the base model’s price is roughly between the Genesis and the Equus, it will cost around $42,000. Assuming it gets the 329-horsepower V-6, that makes it very competitive for power and price.
The closest BMW and Mercedes sedans with 300 horsepower or more all begin above $50,000. The Audi A6 3.0 starts at $49,900. The Acura RL, Infiniti M and Lexus GS all start above $46,000 make less than 329 horsepower. The only American car close in dimensions and performance is the Lincoln MKS, which is the length of the Equus, but produces 304 horsepower and starts at $42,810.
Car and Driver: http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2012-kia-k9-rwd-sedan-photos-and-info-news