Currently on sale in Korea, the model has more than a passing resemblance to the BMW 6 Series, for my money. It has the prominent grille reminiscent of the 6 series, LED headlights and a dual exhaust system. Overall, it measures 5090 mm long, 1900 mm wide and 1490 mm tall with a wheelbase of 3045 mm.
It is Kia’s first modern rear-wheel drive vehicle which combines stylish design with luxurious comfort, engaging driving dynamics and advanced high-tech features, so you can see who they are aiming at.
The cabin is equipped with premium leather upholstery, metallic trim and an infotainment system. Features include a 12.3 inch full size Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD cluster, a HUD (head-up display), twin 9.2 inch monitors to entertain rear seat occupants and a 17 channel, 17 speaker Lexicon (by Harman) sound system and Smart Cruise Control (SCC) which adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain the distance from the vehicle ahead.
Other technical features include a lane departure warning system, a blind-spot detection system and an around-view monitor with four cameras.
“K9 is all about elegant simplicity, balanced proportions and simple surfaces,” says Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. “The class-leading long wheelbase, the prestige distance, large wheels, sharply upright short overhangs and a long sweeping shoulder line all work together in a harmony to give K9 a sporty, athletic proportion and a confident stance quintessential to a premium large rear-wheel drive vehicle.”
“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 (read BMW in there). And for Kia, our customers, and for me - this car is like a dream come true,” concludes Schreyer.
The K9 is powered by a 3.8 liter MPI V6 that produces 213 kW (286 hp), with the more powerful 3.8 liter GDI V6 with 246 kW (329 hp). Both engines drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.
Four driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow) enable the driver to choose a preferred set-up of suspension, steering, engine and transmission ideal for various road conditions or driving styles.
With Korea’s Hyundai doing very well on the world automotive stage, Kia obviously feels that the time is right to expand as well. It will be interesting to see just how the K9 performs on the same world stage.