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New Cadenza Could Feature First Kia Direct-Injection Engine

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2011 Kia Cadenza

2011 Kia Cadenza

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The affordable large car segment is starting to get just a little overcrowded, and in a time where customers all around the world are downsizing to smaller midsize models, performance, fuel-economy and overall value is now more important than ever.

South Korea’s entrants in this field have been winning plenty of accolades lately, especially newcomers like the Hyundai Genesis, and Kia is working on another large car that by the looks of things will only continue this trend.

The car is the new 2011 Kia Cadenza, which will replace the current Amanti sedan and could be the automaker’s first model to feature a fuel efficient and powerful direct-injection gasoline engine.

Unfortunately, the Cadenza isn’t expected to arrive in local showrooms until late next year or even early 2011. This is because Kia believes the U.S. isn’t ready for such an upscale model from a brand that is traditionally recognized for its bargain basement specials.

The car will, however, go on sale in South Korea next year with a 3.5-liter V-6. By the time it arrives in the U.S., Kia's new direct-injection gasoline engine is likely to be available. No details about the engine have been revealed but expect it to be similar to sister brand Hyundai’s 2.4-liter Theta II GDI that develops 198 horsepower and will debut in the 2011 Sonata next year.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]

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