Kia K9 luxury flagship sedan.
SEOUL — The Kia brand entered into the luxury segment of the global automotive market on May 2 with the sale of its new luxury flagship sedan, the K9. The K9 is Kia’s first modern rear-wheel drive vehicle using its own platform.
The K9 boasts a 3,045 mm wheelbase and is 5,090 mm long overall, which provides increased interior space and passenger comfort. The A-pillar is pushed back to create a longer hood and short front overhang, and the distance between the center of the wheel and the A-pillar, known as the “prestige distance”, is increased.
"While embodying a new generation of Kia design, K9 is a clear signal of our intention and determination to compete head-to-head with the European luxury brands. And for Kia, our customers, and for me — this car is like a dream come true," says Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.
The K9 is only on sale in Korea for now but will launch in international markets in 4Q 2012 under a different name. It will be available in overseas markets powered by an upgraded 290 ps Lambda V6 3.8-liter MPI engine, with a 334 ps 3.8 GDI engine joining the global engine line-up next year.
Kia's engineers boosted the Lambda V6's power output, raised its efficiency and enhanced its refinement — making it well-suited to power the new flagship model. The normally aspirated twin DOHC 3.8-liter engines are equipped with dual continuously variable valve timing and a variable intake system.
Every K9 comes with Kia's all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. The wide spread of gear ratios guarantees brisk acceleration and high-speed refinement, while shift-by-wire technology with a joystick control delivers fast, smooth gear changes.
Together with the ultra-stiff bodyshell made with 74.3% high-strength steel, K9's electronically controlled air suspension with five-link front and rear suspension geometry has given the new flagship first-class ride and handling characteristics.
Four driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow) let the driver choose a preferred set-up of suspension, steering, engine and transmission ideal for various road conditions or driving styles.
The Kia K9's luxurious and roomy interior is perfect for chauffeured clientele.
When it goes on sale in overseas markets, K9 will premiere a range of advanced luxury features and technologies such as fully adaptive all-LED headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System, radar-based Blind-Spot Detection, an Around-View Monitor with four cameras and Smart Cruise Control, which adjusts the vehicle's speed to maintain the distance from the vehicle ahead.
Premium comfort features include a 12.3-inch full size Thin Film Transistor LCD cluster, a heads-up display, twin 9.2-inch monitors for rear passengers and a 17-channel, 17-speaker Lexicon sound system.
A special "VIP" option will offer twin-heated and ventilated rear seats with a reclining backrest, sliding cushion and lower leg support for the “nearside” seat, together with a front passenger seat that slides forwards when unoccupied.