Kia’s new flagship saloon goes on sale today in South Korea as the manufacturer confirms launch of the car in a number of key overseas markets starting in the fourth quarter of 2012. The K9 is a whole new experience for Kia, featuring rear-wheel-drive, an 8-speed transmission, and a new V6 engine. It has a good recipe, but we’re not sure about the way it looks.
The K9 has a weird front-end, mostly because of Kia’s signature grille. It works fine on their hatchbacks, but not so well on bigger cars. The K9 is quite spacious though, with a 5,090 mm overall length and 3,045 mm wheelbase, it has the right size for a luxury saloon.
The Korean K9 features an upgraded 290 ps Lambda V6 3.8-litre MPI engine, while the overseas model will get a 334 ps 3.8-litre GDI engine as well.They’re both connected to an 8-speed transmission with shift-by-wire (SBW) technology, and therefore a joystick instead of a gear knob, like different Mercedes and BMW models.
As it’s the case with Korean cars, they’re packed with features and luxury amenities. The K9 offers, t name a few, fully adaptive all-LED headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), radar-based Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), a 17-speaker Lexicon (by Harman) sound system, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and an Around-View Monitor (AVM) with four cameras.