When the Kia K9 does launch in North America, perhaps as early as this year, it will bring with it a badge used by the brand in other markets: Cadenza.
According to our source the new flagship luxury sedan for the brand will borrow the Cadenza name, which is, confusingly, used on an entirely different car overseas. In markets like the Middle East, the Cadenza is based on the K7, itself a version of the front-drive full-size sedan platform that also underpins the Hyundai Azera.
If and when the K7 / Cadenza does make its way to North America, it could bring back the Amanti name, once worn by the brand’s unloved and ugly large sedan.
Based on the same rear-drive architecture as the Hyundai Genesis and Equus, the K9/Cadenza slots in between the two in terms of size. Power is likely to come from the brand’s 3.8-liter direct-injection V6 making 350 hp and using an 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver solid fuel economy.
The Cadenza could launch as early as this year in North America as a 2013 model year vehicle. Look for the Cadenza to start at around $50,000.