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2015 Kia K900 : Current Models

In Korea, Kia calls its flagship rear-wheel-drive sedan the K9. Figuring the name could meet derision and bewilderment in the United States -- among dog owners, anyway -- Kia considered using the car's puzzling overseas handle: Quoris, which we think is pronounced like Boris, or perhaps something with a vaguely French trill at the end. Kia split the difference with the forthcoming 2015 Kia K900.

Yet another addition to the automotive alphanumeric stew is disappointing from a company with musically memorable names like the Soul, Forte and Cadenza. But regardless of name, the K900 promises to be a sportier edition of the more patrician Equus luxury sedan from corporate twin Hyundai. The rear-wheel-drive K900 will offer both a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 and a 420-hp 5.0-liter V8, both joined to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

With exterior styling led by Audi's former chief designer, the K900 is more visually distinct and aggressive than the Equus. The K900's bold front end morphs Kia's familiar "tiger nose" mesh grille with a blunter, classier shape more Jaguar than tiger. The K900 will offer adaptive LED headlights, leather upholstery (with optional Napa leather upgrade), wood trim, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 9-inch navigation and multimedia display. Selecting the V8 model delivers more of the lush life, with features including heated, ventilated and reclining rear seats, a panoramic sunroof and a 12-inch display screen.

Safety systems will include a collision warning system, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, parking sensors and a 360-degree-view monitor display. Many of the K900's convenience and safety features will come standard and not only reinforce Kia's priority on exceptional value, but also justify an anticipated base price around $50,000. Kia executives say a fully loaded V8 should cost about $65,000.

Based on our drive of a K9 in Korea, the K900 delivers a bona fide luxury cabin experience, with loads of comfort and space, leather and wood, and easy, intuitive navigation and multimedia control. That said, more wind noise than we'd like permeates the cabin at open highway speeds, an issue you won't suffer in an S-Class sedan. Ride quality also isn't as compliant as you'd expect, although Kia says the K900's suspension will be retuned for American roads.

Finally, the V6 didn't have quite enough power to seamlessly accelerate this 4,300-pound sedan once at higher speeds, but this won't much affect drivers who rarely venture beyond 80 mph. Those who do are wise to order their K900 with the optional V8.

The Kia K900 is expected at U.S. dealers by the spring of 2014. Check back for a full review of the K900, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice, as it becomes available.


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Sources : 2015 Kia K900 Photo | 2015 Kia K900 Article

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