Kia K9 luxury saloon

It probably won’t come to the UK (and certainly not with that name), but Kia has launched a 3.8 litre V6, rear drive saloon. The K9 (we are going to restrain ourselves and leave the pet-based puns to you) is the new Kia flagship, and is a long way upmarket from the current UK range-topping saloon, the Optima. The design is what we have come to expect from Kia. Design supremo Peter Schreyer is ex-Audi and it shows. Modern Kias are remarkably calm, confident designs, with none of the little fripperies Korean cars used to feature in a vain attempt to look upmarket.

Schreyer says that, “The class-leading long wheelbase, the prestige distance, large wheels, sharply upright short overhangs and a long sweeping shoulder line all work together in a harmony to give K9 a sporty, athletic proportion and a confident stance quintessential to a premium large rear-wheel drive vehicle.” We are not sure about “prestige distance” which sounds like a Google translation from Korean, but the rest of the description sounds reasonable.It is powered by a 3.8 litre V6 with 290 PS, to be followed by a direct-injection version of the same engine with 334 PS. It is that engine, more than the Kia badge, which is likely to keep it out of the UK – we want our large saloons to come with diesel engines.

What they have done to Renault in the mass-market, they clearly want to do to BMW in the luxury segment.