Kia has been very busy revising its lineup this year, and by so doing reinvigorating its brand with an entirely new image. An updated Rio is on the way, the outgoing Spectra has given way to the attractive new Forte sedan and Koup, the all-new Soul is mixing it up in the youth-oriented compact crossover segment, a new Sorento is due soon and, thank goodness, the frumpy albeit well-made Amanti will soon be replaced with this new flagship sedan.
Kia has just released the first renderings of what we have heard is a serious contender for premium class status, a mid-to-full-size model to rival all entry-level brand flagships. Unlike its sister company Hyundai, however, the new Kia won’t be rear-drive and therefore only shares its top-line engine, the 3.8L Lambda V6, with the entry-level Genesis sedan. This will likely be the only engine offered in North American when it arrives next year after making its local debut at the Detroit auto show, with a 2.4L direct-injected four available in other markets. Instead, the top-tier Kia is reported to ride on a modified Hyundai Azera architecture.
If you saw the KND-5 concept that wowed Seoul Motor Show goers in April, you’ve already got a pretty good idea of what the Korean brand’s next-gen luxury flagship will look like. It’s a great looking car by anyone’s standards, with a bold, contemporary presence in contrast to its more conservatively penned Hyundai Genesis cousin.
“VG clearly demonstrates the next stage in Kia’s design evolution and showcases our new design principle of ‘sophistication by simplicity’, says Hyoung Keun Lee, Kia’s Senior Executive Vice President and COO of International Business Division. “The exterior is a seamless blend of powerful front, sleek profile and sophisticated but simple rear lines to create an elegant and luxurious appearance.”
Its roofline is low, new trademark Kia grille pronounced and handsome, headlight clusters stylish thanks to a truly unique design that makes the most of LED technology, and other details upscale and premium-like. Large LED taillights are modern and attractive, finishing off a car that should do much to elevate Kia’s image and boost overall sales.