From its humble start in the U.S. market selling the fleet-only Sephia compact sedan, Kia is branching out into territory unfathomable two decades ago. Kia appears to be aiming for the heart of the premium sedan segment with its upcoming flagship offering, dubbed the K9. And no, we’re not talking about the Hyundai Azera-based front-drive Cadenza, which will fill the hole left by the recently-departed and strangely-styled Amanti.
By all indications, the K9 appears to share most of its underpinnings with the Hyundai Genesis sedan. As such, it’s expected the Genesis’ engines and power train offerings will likely carry over as well. However, the Kia GT concept shown a few months ago featured a twin-turbocharged V-6, so there’s a possibility Kia may debut a production version of this powerplant under the hood of its big sedan.
The Genesis currently has eight-speed automatics across-the-board, but it has already been reported that Hyundai/Kia has a 10-speed under development. Our Europe-based contributor also pointed out that if Kia has big hopes for this model in Europe, a diesel option is practically mandatory. Hyundai/Kia does have a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 in its power train arsenal, but it’s unknown if this engine may be slated for a Euro-trim K9.
If the big sedan does come to the U.S. market, it’s likely a name change is in order as well, as K9 is the commonly-used code for police canine units, and all of Kia’s other U.S. models have proper names as opposed to alpha-numeric designations used in other markets.
Click over to Motor Trend to see the full gallery of photos of the big Kia in the wild.