Mike Stevens | Feb 10, 2012

Kia's large K9 luxury sedan has been spied testing in Europe this week, more than two years since design boss Peter Schreyer revealed concept art for the car in Seoul.

Although Kia has yet to unveil an actual concept version of the new model, it is believed the K9 with utilise the rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins Hyundai's Genesis and Equus, entering above the current K5 (Optima) and the K7 (Cadenza).

Sharing its platform with the Genesis means the K9 will get the same engine options, which includes a 248kW 3.8 litre V6 and a range-topping 320kW 5.0 litre V8.

Hyundai's eight-speed automatic transmission could be on the cards, however it is possible that the K9 will debut with the company's new 10-speed auto, understood to be in develpment right now.

The K9 will likely draw its styling inspiration from Kia's existing sedan line, including Schreyer's "Tiger nose" grille and, as shown here, a Quattroporte-like C-pillar design.

While the test car shown here is covered in camouflage, it is clear that the K9's bodywork is complete. An international market debut should occur later this year, or early in 2013.

Whether the K9 will come to Australia is unclear, although its chances will depend on the availability of right-hand-drive - which remains unavailable for the current K7, and both of Hyundai's Genesis cars.

Our money says that this is one pooch that local buyers won't get to pat anytime soon.

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