2022 Kia K8 Shares Powertrain Secrets to Best Cadenza With More Power and AWD

Kia K8 powertrain details in KDM specification 11 photos
Photo: Kia Motors Corporation
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Just weeks after finding out that Kia will send both the U.S.-spec Cadenza and K900 to greener pastures, the South Korean carmaker softened the blow with the South Korean introduction of the K8 sedan. A direct replacement for the Cadenza, the K8 has been sharing its secrets in a chaptered manner, for now.
First up came the initial exterior preview, followed by a tech-infused look at the premium interior that easily puts the Cadenza’s dated cockpit to shame. Although we still have no idea if Kia will bring the K8 as a direct follow-up to the Cadenza to the United States, now we also know what hides under the hood and the passenger compartment.

Kia has finally released the juicy details regarding the powertrain options, although at the moment, all specifications are for the local South Korean version. At least there’s still hope for U.S. fans because the company also mentioned the K8 will become available “in selected global markets from next month, starting with the Korean market.

As far as the oily bits are concerned, the K8’s new styling is doubled by a total of four powertrain options that should “offer refined, smooth power delivery while improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.

At the top of the lineup sits a 3.5-liter Smartstream gasoline engine that can be had in two guises in KDM specification. The stock GDI form will be offered with 300 PS (296 horsepower) and 359 Nm (265 lb-ft), narrowly making the K8 a little more powerful than a 3.3-liter V6 Cadenza (290 hp). Even better, this version can also be had with an AWD system for better all-year-round performance.

Alternatively, the 3.5-liter Smartstream is also available with liquid propane injection (LPI), but in this case, the power ratings are lowered to just 240 PS (237 hp) and 314 Nm (232 lb-ft) of torque. Kia mentions there are a couple of lower thresholds as well, with the 2.5-liter GDI coming in at 198 PS (195 hp) and 248 Nm (183 lb-ft) of twist. A base 1.6-liter GDI option is also mentioned, but this one doesn’t even get a power rating for now.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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