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Well, if photos of K9′s tooling around Southern California with state manufacturer plates are any indication, the answer would likely be yes.
The Kia K9 will be the Korean brands first attempt at a true luxury car, and the first official interior pictures and TV commercials have been released by the company.
The K9 is underpinned by the same chassis as the Hyundai Genesis and Equus, and will arrive in America driven by a 3.3L V6 rated at 296 hp or a 3.8L V6 producing 329 hp.
The photos give us a clear view of the shifter and instrument panel, and the commercials highlight the exterior styling, adaptive headlights and heads up display. The K9′s infotainment control knob looks suspicoulsy close to the one found in BMW’s automobiles, and the exterior styling of the car has also been noted as being very much akin to the German luxury car styling.
When the K9 finally does make its way to America, expect it to have a new name.
Watch the video’s below to see the K9, and all of its tech features in action.
GALLERY: Kia K9 Interior
Schreyer, who is widely known for his design contributions to the Audi TT model, became the chief design officer at Kia Motors in 2006. Kia’s automobiles haven’t looked the same since then — in a good way.
In a recent video, Peter Schreyer explains the design behind the new Kia K9 rear-wheel drive luxury sedan. This is the Korean automaker’s first rear-wheel drive luxury sedan that will be built on the same platform as the Hyundai Genesis sedan and Equus models.
Watch the video of Peter Schreyer sketching the Kia K9 after the break.
Based on the same platform that underpins both the Hyundai Genesis and Equus, the car will be called the K9, but is expected to receive a different name for markets outside its native Korea.
No details have been provided on powertrains, although looking at the Genesis and Equus models provides plenty of info. As a possible base engine is the 3.8-liter V6 makign anywhere from 333 to 350 hp. As for V8 engine options, Hyundai has a 385 hp 4.6-liter V8 as well as a new 429 hp 5.0-liter version introduced in the Genesis R-Spec.
Look for details to be announced when the car makes it world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6th.
GALLERY: 2013 Kia K9
The Kia K9, code named the KH, is Kia’s sister car to the Hyundai Equus and Genesis, and will be the brand’s first attempt at an upscale rear wheel drive sedan.
We get a full view of the K9 for the first time, out driving in what we assume is South Korea, instead of just spy photos.
Calling the K9 upscale seems warranted: It seems to be taking design cues from the German luxury car makers BMW and Mercedes. Based on the look we get in these videos, it seems like the K9 will be heavily related to the Hyundai’s Genesis and Equus sedans, though that is purely speculative. We’re guessing the K9 will be run by a 4.6-liter V8, which makes 385 hp sourced from the Genesis, or a larger 5.0-liter V8 that can produce as much as 429 hp.
“This all-new rear-wheel drive large sedan will definitely become the leading model of our lineup around the world, showcasing the best of the best of Kia,” Kia marketing executive Soon-Nam Lee said.
The K9 will likely be on sale in Korea later this year, with the worldwide shipment probably coming by early-to-mid 2013.
Watch the videos of the new K9 below.
Kia has at last confirmed it is planning a rear-drive luxury sedan, releasing several teaser images of what is code named the KH. Based on Hyundai’s rear-drive architecture, some reports indicate that it is in fact the stretched platform used by the larger Equus sedan, and not the mid-size Genesis.
Set to launch later this year in South Korea (and believed to be called the K9 there), Kia has yet to confirm what other markets it will be sold in, although it’s likely to be a global vehicle and comments made by Kia marketing exec Soon-Nam Lee indicate it will find its way to US shores. “Although launch timings for overseas markets are yet to be confirmed,” he said, “this all-new rear-wheel drive large sedan will definitely become the leading model of our lineup around the world, showcasing the best of the best of Kia.”
The brand’s first rear-drive model, look for power to come from either a 4.6-liter V8, which makes 385 hp in the Genesis, or a larger 5.0-liter V8 that can produce as much as 429 hp. Expect it to be paired with either an 8-speed automatic or even a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
GALLERY: Kia KH Design Sketches
GALLERY: Kia K9 Spy Photos
Kia has been talking about a rear-wheel drive luxury sedan for a while, and now we’ve got the pictures to prove that they’re serious.
Seen here is the Kia K9 undergoing some winter testing in northern Sweden. We can already see some cues from the Kia GT concept, like the full LED headlights.
The K9 is based on the rear-drive platform from the Hyundai Genesis. That said, engine options could include the brand’s direct-injection 3.8-liter V6 making anywhere from 333 hp to 350 hp. Plus you have to think a V8 will be available, such as the 385 hp 4.6-liter Hyundai unit, or the 429 hp 5.0-liter version. Perhaps most exciting is the possibility of a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 making 390 hp – as seen in the Kia GT Concept.
As for transmission choices, look for either the 8-speed unit recently introduced in the Genesis lineup, or a possible 10 speed automatic that’s currently in development.
Expect the K9 to arrive later this year as a 2013 model year car and to be aimed squarely at German luxury brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
GALLERY: Kia K9
Kia, spurred by the success of sibling Hyundai’s Genesis (and possibly Equus), wants a piece of the rear-drive pie. The company is planning a flagship luxury sedan and possibly a coupe, both in the vein of the Genesis duo.
Kia’s rear-drive adventures end there, however: there are no plans to introduce a pickup truck. There won’t be a Miata-sized roadster, either. Kia’s engineers aren’t interested in expanding into new markets, but tackling the segments they’re already comfortable in. And for Kia, this includes sedans (increasingly bigger ones, too) and coupes like the Forte.
The K7/Cadenza is currently their largest luxury sedan right now, which may or may not make it to America—but it’s a front-driver. The new RWD sedan will use the Genesis platform and series of V6 and V8 engines, and will slot above the Cadenza. If it’s built, it will enter the Korean market next May, and in about two years after that Stateside.
Lastly, Kia’s RWD sports car will be shown in Frankfurt in concept form. If people like it, Kia will target the BMW 3-Series—a lofty goal if there ever was one. It should be no surprise that the Kia sports car will be based on the Genesis, which will get a whole host of improvements by 2013 that will carry over to Kia, in their ambitious goal of besting the Bavarians.
And just think, only yesterday everybody was making bad jokes about the Rio. How fast they grow up these days!
[Source: Car And Driver]
The next Kia may be V8-powered, rear-driven, German-designed, and bigger than its half-sibling Genesis—and if that boggles the mind from the company that gave us the Rio, then you’ll just have to wait until Frankfurt this September to have all of your questions answered.
Not much is known about the Kia K9—not even its name, which is merely internal code. But what is already known is that the ambitious Kia will slot between the Hyundai Genesis and Equus in terms of size. It will feature a V8 engine and wheels driven from the back, as God intended. And the designer is no less than Peter Schreyer, formerly of Volkswagen and Audi fame, so expect lots of German influence in its porthole-laden lines.
And we may get our first glimpse of the big Kia at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September of this year, if Kia is feeling nice enough. Expect a curvaceous four-door with a bit of Kia’s corporate grille up front—and let the “looks like a…” game begin.
GALLERY: Kia K9 Spied
As the first proof that such a car actually exists, several pictures of what is believed to be a camouflaged version of the upcoming Ki K9 luxury sedan have made in onto the net thanks to an amateur spy photographer.
Based on the same rear-drive platform as the Hyundai Genesis, the car would likely share the same engines, meaning we should see either a 4.6-liter or 5.0-liter V8, as well as a V6 engine. As in the new 2012 Genesis R-Spec, the 5.0-liter engine makes 429-hp at 6400 rpm and 376 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm and comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. As for a V6, look for 333-hp and 291 lb-ft of torque with as much as 29-mpg on the highway.
Not likely to debut for at least a year, the car fits Kia’s new corporate mandate to focus on niche market models that would help draw attention to the brand. The K9′s significant size, paired with the brand’s new design language is certain to make the K9 a stand-out on the road.
GALLERY: Kia K9 Spied
Rumored to be in the production pipeline since 2009, Kia will reportedly move ahead with plans to introduce a flagship K9 sedan.
The K9 (following Kia’s Korean numbering scheme) will be based on the same chassis as the Genesis sedan from parent company Hyundai. That being said, it will be a true rear-wheel drive machine, likely sporting the brand’s Tau V8 (4.6-liters or 5.0-liters), mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
Set to launch next year, this report fits with a larger plan announced by Kia to expand into niche markets with more engaging vehicles.
According to CAR Magazine, the K9 won’t make its way to European soil, but is planned for North America.
Following roughly a year after the debut of the all-new Hyundai Accent, Kia will unveil its third-generation Rio sub-compact in early 2011. Set for a dramatic makeover (much like the Accent) the Rio will get styling inspired by the Forte and Forte Koupe as well as the new Optima Sedan.
Like the Accent power is expected to come from either a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 1.6-liter four-banger when it first launches in its home market of South Korea. The 1.6-liter engine gets DOHC and variable valve technology to produce roughly 120-hp at 6300 rpm and 114 ft-lbs of torque, while the 1.4 delivers roughly 105-hp and 100 ft-lbs. Both engines come with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Fuel economy with the smaller engine should be roughly 41-mpg with the manual and 38 mpg with the automatic. Different engine and transmission combos could be offered in North America, as we expect something better than a 4-speed auto-box.
Other new models set to join the Kia fold include a 5-door Forte hatchback. There’s speculation of an Optima Coupe and Optima Wagon as well, not to mention the Kia K9 luxury car based on the Hyundai Genesis rear-drive platform. And finally, there are continued rumors of a rear-drive Kia coupe based on the Genesis Coupe.
During a design conference last week in Seoul, Korea, Kia’s top designer showed the above sketch which is believed to be the company’s first full-fledged entry into the rear-drive luxury segment. Referred to as K9, this sketch is thought to foreshadow a concept car that will eventually make its way to production, based on the same architecture at Hyundai’s Genesis sedan.
The man who unveiled this sketch is none other than Peter Schreyer, who now heads up Kia’s design team and is known for such revolutionary vehicles as the original Audi TT.
Kia has made known plans to develop a Genesis sister car, code named CH, which will hit the market in 2011. The Genesis Sedan, coincidentally, was code named BH. We would expect the car to come with both Genesis engines, including the impressive 385-hp Tau V8.
Recently Kia unveiled its newest model, the Cadenza, which will replace the Amanti. It was suggested that the Cadenza might run on the G Sedan’s RWD architecture, but upon the car’s debut Kia confirmed it will say FWD. This most certainly leaves room for a RWD luxury car in the Korean automaker’s lineup.