- Kia flagship sedan coming to LA Auto Show
- K900 will have rear-wheel-drive platform; V8 likely available
- Expect luxury features, high-end styling
Kia will unveil an all-new flagship luxury sedan at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The automaker released several preview images of the so-called K900, which went on sale in South Korea last year.
Based on the same platform used on the Hyundai Genesis and Equus, the Kia K900 is a 4-door luxury sedan with standard rear-wheel drive. That's the same setup as high-end competitors such as the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes E-Class and, of course, the similarly sized Genesis.
On the outside, the K900 certainly looks the part. It has a sleek, coupelike profile with sculpted lines and luxurious bright trim around the windows and below the doors. It also features a pronounced version of Kia's "tiger nose" grille, which has distinctive notches at the grille's top and bottom.
Under the skin, the K900 is also expected to have what it takes to compete with high-end sedans. While Korean versions, called the K9, offer a choice of V6 engines, the American model is expected to feature an available V8. That's likely one of the same units as the Genesis: either a 385-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 or a 429-hp 5.0-liter V8.
Inside, the K900 is also expected to offer the equipment to woo luxury buyers. Kia tells us to expect adaptive cruise control, a 12.3-inch color touchscreen, a 360-degree camera system to aid with parking and a full-color head-up display projected on the windshield.
The K900's only problem? Possibly its brand name, as Kia is just beginning to establish itself in the luxury market. The automaker only recently released its most upscale model ever, the Cadenza sedan -- meaning the K900 will chart new territory.
We'll learn more about the K900 when it debuts in November at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.
What it means to you: The arrival of a Kia flagship sedan proves the automaker is getting serious about going upscale.