Kia is reaching for the stars with the advent of a new flagship rear-wheel drive luxury sedan, the 2014 K900. The oddly named sedan will represent a big push upmarket for the Korean automaker, a formula that has worked for sister company Hyundai with the appealing Genesis Sedan and Equus luxury rear-drivers.
Original reports said that Kia would call the car “Quoris” -- a mashup of “quality” and “core” -- with the name conveying solidity, luxury and high technology, all resonating together as a chorus. But it appears that the Equus-based sedan will be called the K900 in its delayed 2014 release. By any name, this refreshing vehicle brings eye-catching styling, sporty driving dynamics and a bunch of advanced active safety features.
Kia’s new Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) can maintain the desired speed plus a driver-selectable distance from the car in front, even bringing the K900 to a complete stop with the flow of traffic. If that stop lasts less than 3 seconds, ASCC will automatically accelerate the car back to the desired predetermined speed. Goodbye stop-and-go traffic headaches.
Add a 360-degree around-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, lane departure warning, pre-tensioning seatbelts, advanced stability control and a pre-braking collision mitigation system and you have a focus on driver and passenger safety worthy of a Volvo.
No final word on powertrains, but the Genesis’s direct-injection 3.8-liter V6 making 330-350 horsepower is the likeliest choice, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
We’ll take a wild guess and place base pricing at around $40,000-$42,000 or between the Genesis and Equus, and well above the cost of a loaded Optima. Will U.S. buyers shell out that kind of cash for a Kia? We’ll find out when the K900 hits U.S. dealerships in early 2014.