Kia to launch a new range-topping V8 saloon dubbed K9

Published: 22 March 2011

Kia will build their rumoured rear-wheel drive V8 saloon - but it won't come to the UK, sources in Korea have confirmed to CAR.

Following the domestic badge hierarchy, this new range-topper would logically be called the K9. Perhaps that dog-inspired badge may explain why the car won’t come to Europe, but US sales are expected. 

Kia’s new range-topper: the ‘K9’

The new large Kia saloon was scheduled to be shown in 2011, but it has now been pushed back to a 2012 launch. The new saloon would sit above the front-drive 3.5-litre V6 K7/Cadenza saloon in the Kia line-up. CAR understands the new exec will be ready by May 2012.  

The K9 represents the first application of sister brand Hyundai's rear-drive technology from the Genesis and Equus. Expect Hyundai's 'Tau' V8 engine under the bonnet, along with the upcoming eight-speed automatic transmission which arrived in the Genesis R-Spec saloon at the 2011 Chicago auto show.  

It’s telling the new Kia K9 won’t come to Europe...

Indeed. Although Kia and Hyundai are resurgent, they appear to understand that their centre of gravity in Europe is still in cheap, good-quality mainstream cars.

We can’t see any moves upmarket in Europe for some time yet. It’s more likely that we’ll see sportier derivatives first – a sort of MX-5 from Korea would be a more likely next step.

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator