Kia has unveiled its new K9 flagship sedan, which goes on sale Korea in the first half of the year.
Kia has also confirmed that the K9 will be sold outside of its domestic market, though the name and exact timings for overseas launches won’t be revealed until later this year.
Previously referred to as the KH, the new model is Kia’s first rear-wheel drive sedan and it’s set to serve as the automaker’s flagship.
Kia boasts that the K9 exemplifies the “best of the best” design, driving performance and high technology capabilities.
The styling draws its inspiration from the theme “distinctive, modern and classic,” which as it turns out includes LED headlights, bold character lines, and a purposeful stance. According to Kia, the K9’s profile was a key focus for the design team. It features a simple side character line to give a feeling of spaciousness while emphasizing the new model’s boldness.
While the K9 name may seem odd, it continues Kia’s naming practice for models, such as the existing K5 and K7, sold in its domestic market. The letter “K” represents not only Kia and Korea, but also refers to the Greek word “Kratos” (meaning powerful, domination and reign) and the English word “Kinetic” (meaning active, dynamic).
Kia hasn’t gone into details about its K9’s mechanical package but beneath the sheet metal is the same rear-wheel drive platform from the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan, not the smaller Genesis as previously predicted. This means the K9 is likely to come with a V-8 engine matched to an eight-speed, or possibly even a 10-speed, automatic transmission.
A starting price below the $58,750 sticker of the Equus in the U.S. would also be likely, that is, if the K9 ever does arrive. But considering the following statement from Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s overseas marketing chief, “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,” it certainly would be strange if it didn’t.