Kia has officially announced that its K9 has been launched in its home market of South Korea — and the long-wheelbase luxury sedan will go on sale in other markets from the fourth quarter of this year. Australia, however, is not one of those markets, and in this regard the K9 follows in the footsteps of other upmarket Korean cars, like Hyundai's Equus.
The K9 in markets other than South Korea will not be badged 'K9'; instead wearing an actual model name, although that name is yet to be revealed. Over five metres in length and boasting a drag coefficient of 0.27Cd, the K9 is built on a rear-wheel drive platform and is powered by Hyundai's 3.8-litre Lambda V6, which develops 213kW. Next year the 245kW GDI (direct injection) version will be offered also. The transmission chosen for the K9 is an eight-speed automatic.
“With K9 we have achieved a near-perfect front/rear weight distribution, which has created a strong foundation for excellent balance and steering response, and a sophisticated blend of ride and handling qualities,” said Chang-Ky Kang, Senior Vice President of Namyang R&D Chassis Technology Centre, as quoted in a press release.
That weight distribution is also complemented by an ultra-stiff bodyshell, formed mostly (74.3 per cent) from high-strength steel. The car rides on electronically-controlled multi-link air suspension.
Kia plans to pack the car full of sophisticated safety features commonly fitted to premium European luxury cars. These include adaptive all-LED headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), radar-based Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), active cruise control and an Around-View Monitor (AVM) with four cameras.
Additionally, the K9 will offer owners the comfort of a 12.3-inch full size TFT LCD screen, a head-up display, 9.2-inch monitors for rear-seat occupants and a 17-speaker audio system. A VIP option will feature heated/ventilated rear seats with reclining backrests, sliding base and lower leg support for the passenger-side seat. Also part of the VIP option, the front passenger seat will slide forward if unoccupied, for extra rear-seat legroom.