With last year’s launch of the well-reviewed Kia Stinger many folks expected the Korean carmaker would abandon its first foray into the luxury market, the much more staid K900.
But as Mark Twain might have said, reports of the big sedan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated – as this newly released image of the next-generation K900 aims to demonstrate. Set to go on sale later this year, it will keep the Stinger company in Kia showrooms around the world.
“The new model combines sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling,” Kia said in a statement accompanying this teaser image. “New technologies protect occupants, enhance interior comfort and give the driver greater confidence at the wheel.”
Based on the same platform as the Hyundai Genesis – which itself evolved into the Genesis G90 sedan – the original Kia K900 made its U.S. debut four years ago as a 2015 model. (It appeared in some other markets, including Korea, a year earlier.) It underscored the dramatic transformation of the smaller Korean carmaker, a brand that had long been known for its bare bones entry-level products.
(Third-gen Kia Forte hitting all the marks. Click Here for the story.)
Like the Hyundai Equus, it was a full-size sedan targeting some of the market’s most substantial luxury offerings – models like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS – albeit at a substantial discount.
Demand in the U.S. was modest, however, and there have long been questions about whether Kia could justify keeping the K900 in the line-up. Such concerns became even more apparent with the launch of the smaller, sportier and far more dramatic Stinger, a grand touring sedan that last month came in as a close runner-up to the new Honda Accord as 2018 North American Car of the Year.
The K900 clearly is not going away. “Quite the contrary,” said a senior Kia insider speaking on background. “It made some amazing contributions” to the brand, and the automaker appears to believe it will be able to move the needle even more with this new version.
(Click Here to see how Kia is ready for the SUV battles with Sorento and Niro.)
The teaser image reveals that the gen-2 sedan retains its classic rear-wheel-drive proportions, starting with the long nose that will continue to house at least one V-8 option, but it adopts a bit more of a dynamic, more coupe-like silhouette, with strong shoulders and a sharp upper character line that stretches nearly the full length of the vehicle.
What appear to be twin front LED running lights are echoed in the taillight design.
Though it seems highly likely the current car’s 5.0-liter 420-horsepower V-8 will carry over, we very well could see the K900 add a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 borrowed from the Stinger. There it makes 365 hp, a full 54 more than the current K900’s 3.8-liter V-6. Meanwhile, an optional all-wheel-drive package seems highly likely considering luxury sedans without that option are all but ignored in key Northeast and other Snowbelt markets.
(To check out TDB.com’s first drive in the Kia Stinger GT, Click Here.)
As for timing, Kia says, “The new flagship sedan will go on sale in selected global markets from the second quarter of 2018.” That would suggest we may get a first clear look at the second-generation sedan at the upcoming New York Auto Show.