Mike Stevens | Feb 28, 2012

Kia has revealed its all-new K9 flagship sedan, destined for sale in the carmaker's South Korea homeland and other left-hand-drive markets.

These new images, released this afternoon, come hot on the heels of a show-all video clip captured by an eagle-eyed motorist this week.

Known internally by its KH development name, the K9 will enter Kia's line-up above the existing Optima and Cadenza sedans (the latter not offered in Australia), which are sold as the K5 and K7 in South Korea.

As with the smaller sedans, the K9 will adopt a different name for regions outside of its home market.

(While the K5 and K7 badges would have carried over safely to the international market, we'd say dropping the K9 moniker in English-speaking languages is a smart move.)

"K9 is our first rear-wheel drive large sedan, created without compromise in its design, driving performance and new technologies," Kia's Director for Overseas Marketing, Soon-Nam Lee said.

"K9 sets a whole new level of standards and values in the large sedan segment, and its design will be another Kia demonstration of our brand's power to surprise the world."

Kia has confirmed only that the K9 is built on a rear-wheel-drive platform, with further technical details under wraps for now.

With only one rear-wheel architecture known to exist in the Hyundai-Kia catalogue, it is likely to be the same platform underpinning Hyundai's Genesis sedan.

If that's the case, watch for the K9 to feature high-powered V6 and V8 powertrains, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission - possibly even Hyundai's upcoming 10-speed shifter.



We've said it before, but we'll say it again: don't expect to see this one Australia. Speaking with TMR today, Kia Australia's Kevin Hepworth confirmed that there are no plans to bring the K9 here.

As with the current Genesis, the big new Kia will be built in left-hand-drive only, which keeps it well off the Australian radar for the foreseeable future.

Don't lose hope though. With the next-generation Genesis cars confirmed for right-hand-drive and an Australian launch (although timing remains unclear for now), it's odds-on that a large right-hand-drive and RWD premium model will be on Kia Australia's long-term agenda.

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