The Kia K9 is the Korean brands first venture into the luxury car segment, and it is now officially on sale in Korea.
The company announced that the K9 will go on sale in key overseas market in late 2012, although specific places were not mentioned. Based on the Hyundai Genesis and Equus sales here in America, it seems clear that the K9 will come to the states as it shares its platform with both cars, but offers new styling. When and if it does come, it will also likely sport a new name, as K9 bears to much resemblance to the English word canine.
We have already seen the K9′s interior and exterior look, but now the powerplant options in the car are official. The K9 will initially hit the U.S. market with one engine option, a 286 hp 3.8-liter V6, but according to the company there will be a larger version of the 3.8-liter with direct injection that will make 329 hp and will become available next year. All of the engine options will be matched up with an automatic eight-speed transmission, complete with shift-by-wire manual shift option.
To compete with cars like the BMW 7-Series, Kia has loaded the K9 with premium features like LED headlamps, lane departure warning system, blind-spot detection, a 17-speaker sound system, smart cruise control and an around-view monitor complete with four cameras.
“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,” said Peter Schreyer, chief designer of the K9.
Expect the K9′s MSRP to start around $50,000 and range all the way up to $75,000.