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Kia Working On Rear-Drive Sedan, Electric Vehicles: Report


2009 kia knd 5 concept 001

2009 kia knd 5 concept 001

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Although Kia is owned by Hyundai, the two companies operate as nearly separate entities. Sure, there’s platform sharing and Kia even builds the Hyundai Santa Fe in West Point, GA for Hyundai. Still, the product lines between the two automakers remain (mostly) distinct.

If Car and Driver is correct, the product lines will get just a bit closer together, as Kia has  given approval to a rear-drive, flagship sedan. Unlike Hyundai, who paved the way to its Equus premium luxury sedan with the Genesis luxury sedan and the Azera near-luxury sedan, Kia has never had a car that’s crossed into luxury territory, and most of their product line sells well below the $30,000 price point. Sure, you can cross the $35,000 barrier with an optioned-out Kia Sedona or Kia Sorento, but we’re guessing that most customers opt for more affordable versions, and neither would be considered a luxury vehicle by consumers.

Kia’s rear drive sedan will likely be based on the Hyundai Genesis sedan, which means it should be offered with both V-6 and V-8 power, linked to the Hyundai-developed eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia is said to be launching the car in Korea next May, with the U.S. version expected in 2014 as a 2015 model.

There’s word that Kia will launch an electric vehicle in its home market next year as well, but it isn’t clear if this is the Kia Naimo shown in Korea earlier this year. Longer-term, Kia is planning an electric crossover vehicle for global markets, but don’t expect to see that before 2014. There’s no word yet on which markets will get Kia’s electric vehicles, but it stands to reason that the United States will be among them.

[Car and Driver]
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Comments (3)
  1. Dumb. Why muddy up your own product and brand differentiation? I thought KIA was hip, edgy, youthful not luxury.
     
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  2. Rich, the rear-drive sedan may play into that, especially if they design it with an eye on "sport." I can see a range of rear-drive Kia sedans, powered by everything from their 2.0-liter turbo four through the 5.0-liter V8. Call it a "poor man's BMW 3-Series," which I think has some serious potential.
     
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  3. Kurt-the pics on the net yesterday of the new "K9 if you like" RWD V8 4-door large sedan show a gorgeous sedan, one that will give Audi large sedans a run for their money. The large Kia RWD sedan might price out realistically in the mid-30's, but we shall see. Kia will build one for sure but we probably won't actually see it in America until 2014 or so. Can't wait, Mr. Schreyer really is a talented car designer...Kia really was smart to hire that man.
     
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