AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
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 changing what people think about Korean cars for well over a year now thanks to some impressive designs, and now the automaker is looking to add some performance to its lineup with the new GT Concept – the first ever rear-drive vehicle by Kia.
Set to be unveiled tomorrow at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the GT Concept is a rear-drive coupe-styled sedan that we can now confirm is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injection 3.3-liter V6 making 395-hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. Helping get power to the ground in a smooth and fuel efficient manner is an 8-speed automatic transmission.
“This concept allows us to explore exciting new design directions, as using a rear-drive layout creates very different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer. ”The classic front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout of a performance saloon has distinct appeal not just for the domestic Korean audience, but also for the European and American markets.”
Said to be inspired by iconic GT cars of the 1970s, the GT also takes design cues from the Kia Kee concept that debuted in Frankfurt back in 2007. Measuring 185-inches in length this 4-seater is roughly a foot shorter than the Hyundai Genesis sedan (on which it is believed to be based), putting it right in the same size category as the BMW 3 Series.
Will Kia build the GT Concept.. or something like it? You bet! “One of the great things about working on this project was that this is a very real car,” says Schreyer. “It felt good to be working on a car that could roll down the road tomorrow. Yes, it would be a dream to put this into production – it has a logical layout, with four seats, and good luggage space, and it’s also engaging and dynamic and makes a strong statement. It’s exactly the kind of car Kia should be making.”
Look for more details and live photos tomorrow at AutoGuide’s official Frankfurt Auto Show page here.
GALLERY: Kia GT Concept
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]
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.