The photo you see above is your first glimpse of the 2019 Kia K900Â â€” the second generation of the Korean automaker’s full-size flagship sedan. If Kia’s lucky, it won’t be your last time seeing it.
Sold overseas as the K9 or Quoris, the first-gen model appeared on U.S. shores in early 2014 with Hyundai Equus underpinnings, rear-wheel motivation, a choice of V6 and V8 engine, and LeBron James as a spokesman. Sales crested the 2,500-unit mark in 2015 before falling to 455 in 2017. Like Bigfoot, the K900 is large and rarely spotted.
Kia hopes to change that with the new model.
Scheduled for a debut at either the Geneva Motor Show in March or the New York Auto Show in April, the 2019 K900 goes on sale in the second quarter of this year.
Boasting what Kia describes as “sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling,” the next-gen K900 will add new driver assist features and comfort in an effort, like before, to position itself as a value leader in the luxury segment.
I’ve already stated why I feel a second-gen K900 is a pointless endeavor for Kia, at least in North America, so it’s not necessary to rekindle the argument.
As the Equus is long gone, new bones are in order, and the new K900 is expected to make use of the Genesis G90’s platform. There’s no reason why Kia wouldn’t borrow its powertrains, either. Having driven the G90, the Genesis’ attributes stand to correct the criticisms levelled at the previous K900: namely, numb steering and an overly soft ride. While still thin on the ground, the G90 felt perfectly refined, with a smooth, controlled ride and ample power from its 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6.
That engine makes a remarkably hushed 365 horsepower, 34 more than the first-gen K900’s 3.8-liter unit. Torque grows by 83 lb-ft to 376. A naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 makes 420 hp and 383 lb-ft, with both engines making use of an eight-speed automatic.
While the model’s long, high character line is similar to that of the G90, the pictured K900’s roofline is less formal, with a lower nose containing what we assume is corporate Kia grille. The taillights look like a mixture of Genesis and Mercedes-Benz.
While the new K900 seems like a great way to cannibalize G90 sales, Kia apparently feels it’s important to have a range-topping sedan positioned above the new-for 2018 Stinger. Two new rear-drive sedans from Kia in one year. The mind reels.
[Image: Kia Motors]