The new K9 flagship from South Koran automaker Kia has been spotted testing before, but never in Europe. And this is important because it proves their willingness to brings what is basically a production version of the Kia GT Concept over. This vehicle is meant to bring all their best technologies together under one roofline, from advanced engines to gearboxes and all the luxury you could want from a Kia. That and its looks are what has earned the K9, likely to be called the Opirus, the title of Korea’s Maserati Quattroporte.
This was one of the most hotly discussed cars before Kia reinvented itself, and they surely want to get it right. It was originally expected to debut at a major European venue last year, and we thought it didn’t until we realized the GT Concept was actually previewing it.
THe K9 / Opirus is loosely underpinned by the Hyundai Equus and will get the same 5.0-liter GDI V8 engine with 429 horsepower and their own 8-speed automatic. The GT Concept from Frankfurt made use of a turbocharged V6 that sent its power to the rear wheels, but the industry is buzzing with the news that the other four-cylinder GDI-T units will also be used.
Expect the K9 to debut in Korea later this year, followed by Europe and North America in 2013.