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2012 Kia K9 on sale in Korea, headed for other markets Q4

May 2, 2012

Kia has launched its first and only current model front-engine rear-wheel drive sedan, the 2012 Kia K9. The production version of the concept car went on sale in Korea today, and will eventually hit other international markets during the fourth quarter of this year.

Unfortunately, Kia Australia has said there are no plans to introduce the new large sports sedan Down Under.

During the initial launch phase, the Kia K9 comes with a 3.8-litre Lambda V6 engine producing 213kW of power. A higher output GDI version will join the lineup next year, producing 245kW.

Both feature continuously variable valve timing and a variable intake system (VIS), as well as a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia hasn’t revealed possible acceleration figures, however, the company says the gearbox provides a “wide spread of gear ratios” which “guarantees brisk acceleration and high-speed refinement”.

Styling-wise, the 2012 Kia K9 showcases Kia’s tiger nose grille in the front end, and a swooping rear roofline. There are also twin exhaust outlets at the back for that sporty look, and slightly bulged front and rear wheel arches.

Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s director of overseas marketing group, recently spoke about the philosophy behind the K9. He said,

“K9 is our first rear-wheel drive large sedan for more than a decade and sets new standards for advanced design, new technologies and driving performance, representing the ‘best of the best’ of Kia.

“Demonstrating once again our brand’s power to surprise, K9 will entice an entirely new customer group of progressive, forward-looking consumers to Kia for the first time.”

To top it all off, the interior is garnished in modern furnishings, and a compressive in-car entertainment package. The setup consist of twin 9.2-inch rear screens, a 12.3-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD interface up front, and a 17-speaker Lexicon stereo.

What a shame it won’t be heading to Australia any time soon.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.