By William Maley
Kia revealed some details and pictures of the upcoming K900 flagship sedan that will be debuting next week at the New York Auto Show.
The K900's new body was styled in California and Korea. It has slightly more presence than the outgoing model with a front grille featuring 176 jewel-like “cells,” and new LED headlights. The back looks Mercedes-esq with similar styling for the trunk and taillights. Kia has extended the K900's wheelbase by 60-millimeters (about 2.3-inches), which is similar to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
We also got a first look at the K900's interior thanks to someone leaking out the brochure for the Korean-market K900. Compared to the outgoing model, the new K900 has a modern and clean looking dashboard with less buttons and a strip of real wood trim. Two 12.3-inch displays are used - one for the instrument cluster and the other for the infotainment system.
The KDM brochure reveals that that K900 will offer a 3.6L V6, twin-turbo 3.3L V6, and 5.0L V8 engines. We think the 3.3T and 5.0L V8 engines will be available for the U.S. market.
We'll have more details when the K900 rolls out on March 28th.
Source: Kia, Motor Graph
Press Release is on Page 2
Kia reveals first glimpse of all-new K900 luxury sedan
Kia releases first images of new flagship luxury sedan Rich, sophistacted design and balanced proportions ensure a strong on-road presence for K900 Analog clock developed exclusively by Swiss watch brand Maurice Lacroix Minimalist interior with advanced in-car technologies, new Human Machine Interface (HMI) and co-developed Pantone customizable mood lighting Kia Motors has revealed the design of the all-new K900 today in a series of exterior and interior images. The all-new K900 has been created in close collaboration between Kia’s global design headquarters in Namyang, Korea and the brand’s U.S. design studio in Irvine, California. The new model will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show later on March 28.
Exterior design and the Gravity of Prestige
Combining a beautifully balanced design with elegant, flowing lines and geometric details, the K900 introduces a modern air of elegance and gravitas to the large sedan segment. Kia’s designers were inspired by the ‘Gravity of Prestige’ design concept, which exudes strength through rich detail and solid surfaces. Based conceptually on the the changing shape of condensed energy, a new ‘Quadric pattern’ signature grille – seen for the first time today – is the focal point of the K900. Embodying the K900’s design concept, the grille contains 176 jewel-like ‘cells’, suggestive of released energy accelerating away from its center.
Lines in the high-strength steel bodywork flow naturally from the grille, rising over the hood and, in profile, sweeping through to the rear flanks before meeting at the back.
Geometric design details add an element of modernity and technology. Evoking the trajectory of light, the design of the ‘Duplex’ LED headlamps provides the K900 with a visually progressive, high-prestige image. In profile, a chrome flash adds visual depth to the smooth bodywork, running along the base of the doors and around the lower rear section of the K900. The chrome window-line adds a degree of technicality and structure to the free-flowing C-pillar before it merges with the rear deck. The tail lights and exhaust housings are also finished with fine chrome details.
A key element in the design of the all-new K900 comes from its new platform and elongated proportions. Longer and wider than its predecessor, the wheelbase of the new model has been extended by 60mm (2.3 inches) to 3,105mm (122.2 inches), while both the front and rear overhangs are shorter, pushing the wheels further out to the corners of the car. This subtle change to the K900’s proportions is a strong expression of space, while underpinning improvements in ride quality and creating greater passenger room on the inside.
Elegant, minimalist and innovative interior
Elegant by design, and with a high-class, minimalist layout, the interior of the new K900 provides the driver and passengers with a peaceful retreat in which to spend time. Kia has also developed a series of more expressive features for occupants to enjoy.
Kia has created a refined and luxurious cabin which wraps around the driver, enhancing the sense of being cocooned from the outside world. Flowing from the center of the dash and outwards to the doors, surfaces are trimmed in a sophisticated combination of materials, with soft-touch surfaces, a blend of highly tactile wood and metal veneers, and genuine leather throughout the interior.
The cabin is designed to offer greater space and comfort than ever before. The all-new K900’s longer, wider exterior proportions provides a more spacious cabin for occupants than its predecessor, while seats are trimmed in genuine leather, with smooth and quilted surfaces enhancing the prestige aspect of the interior.
The K900’s 12.3-inch HMI screen is integrated in such a way as to enhance a sense of calm and serenity on-board, with a bezel-less display and simplified switchgear layout. At the base of the center console, the driver can also use a manual dial to rotate through on-screen functions. Inspired by the simplicity of fine watch design, the K900 dashboard also houses an elegant analog clock, developed specifically for the new model through an exclusive collaboration with Swiss luxury watch brand, Maurice Lacroix.
The HMI features a new intelligent lighting control with proximity sensors, only illuminating the dashboard when it detects the driver’s hand reaching for a switch. Drivers can also adapt the cabin of the new K900 to personal preferences with a new mood lighting system. The new K900 is the first car in the world to incorporate an ambient lighting system developed in partnership with the Pantone Color Institute, the global authority on color. Customizable on the move, the subtle ambient lighting floods the interior in one of seven colors, jointly developed by Kia and the Pantone Color Institute. Drivers can also choose from 64 unique settings to adapt light levels throughout the car. Harmonizing with the cabin’s design, the glow of the lights creates a truly contemporary ambience while providing stability and rest for K900 occupants.
The all-new Kia K900 will be manufactured in Korea and will go on sale across selected global markets from the second quarter of 2018.
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By William Maley
While automakers are going crazy in terms planning new crossovers, Kia is showing some restraint. Speaking with Wards Auto, Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia Motors America said the company doesn't see an opportunity to introduce an A-Segment crossover.
“I don’t think we see an opportunity there. We have a lot of coverage in the marketplace now, and that is not a priority at this point. I think we would see more opportunity in C-segment (CUVs) then we would in A- or B-(segment models),” said Hedrick.
Kia will also not join Hyundai with entering the pickup truck market.
“It’s a big step to take and I think it’s a major commitment.”
Hedrick points out that Nissan and Toyota have had issues in trying make a dent into the stronghold of large pickups by Ford, GM, and Ram.
"It’s a fierce battle. You have to go into it eyes wide open,” said Hedrick.
One interesting tidbit from Ward Auto's piece is that Kia is considering doing something similar to Hyundai's N performance sub-brand.
Source: Wards Auto
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By William Maley
We cannot fault anyone who forgets Kia sells a flagship sedan. No, we're not talking about the Stinger. We're referring to the K900 which sounds like the name of a knock-off Doctor Who character. Later this year, Kia will be launching the second-generation K900 in select markets like the U.S.. Today, Kia dropped a teaser photo of the new model.
Compared to the current K900, the new model looks much leaner and the A-Pillar has been pushed back slightly. The headlights feature LED accents. We think the new K900 will use the underpinnings of the Genesis G90, which would allow it to have rear and all-wheel drive. Engines are expected to be the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 and 5.0L V8.
As for when we'll see it, some believe it will debut at Geneva while others have it at New York. Our money is on New York.
(Author's Note: I actually reviewed the K900 back in 2015 and thought it was a nice sedan for the money. You can check out the review here. -WM)
Press Release is on Page 2
Kia previews second-generation K900
Kia Motors has previewed its flagship luxury sedan, the K900, ahead of its world debut later in the year.
The new model combines sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling. New technologies protect occupants, enhance interior comfort and give the driver greater confidence at the wheel.
Created through joint efforts by Kia’s designers in Korea and in the U.S., the new K900 will be manufactured at the company’s production facility in Korea. The new flagship sedan will go on sale in selected global markets from the second quarter of 2018.
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By William Maley
Since last year, we've been hearing various rumors of Ford cutting a number of passenger cars. In October, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said various cuts were incoming, including ones for the vehicle lineup. This would be part of a $7 billion shift of development funds from passenger cars to SUVs/Trucks. At the time, Ford wouldn't say what vehicles would be cut.
During Ford's fourth-quarter and 2017 earnings call, Hackett said details about which models would be cut would finally be revealed later this year. Analysts hoping to get an answer were frustrated by this news.
Ford has already ended production of the C-Max Energi late last year and is planning to end production of the C-Max Hybrid sometime later this year. Other models that have been rumored to be cut include the Fiesta, Taurus, and recently the Fusion.
Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
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By Drew Dowdell
Kia released an all new version of their Kia Forte compact sedan at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Kia wants to be more than just another basic entry in the compact sedan market and is bringing the Forte style and substance up market.
Aiming for a more sophisticated design, the new Forte pulls on design cues from the Kia Stinger. A sharper and deeper version of Kia's Tiger nose grille gives way to more expressive hood and fender styling. Inside, the dashboard has been updated to a minimalistic design with a large floating center screen an restrained use of buttons. An updated infotainment system is now available which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The power train consists of a new, more efficient 2.0 liter 4-cylinder which runs on Atkinson cycle rather than the more common Otto Cycle. Atkinson cycle engines are typically reserved for hybrid-vehicles. The 2.0 is estimated to produce 147hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a new CVT. This in-house developed CVT claims to address the issue of "rubber-band feel" often cited as a complaint in other CVTs. Kia programmed the CVT to have a stepped feel similar to a standard automatic when in heavy acceleration situation. The new engine and CVT combined contribute to a preliminary estimate of a 3mpg increase in fuel economy combined.
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Kia Press Release on Page 2
ALL-NEW 2019 FORTE MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
Compact Sedan Levels Up with Sophisticated Yet Sporty Design, Advanced Technology, and All-New Efficient Smart Stream IVT
Forte evolves into a more refined compact with design cues inspired by Stinger Kia’s first in-house designed and built Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) introduces new line of Smart Stream technologies designed to help increase fuel efficiency and deliver an estimated 35 combined MPG Standard 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Advanced Driver Assistance technologies join Forte’s tech roster DETROIT, January 15, 2018 – Today at the North American International Auto Show, Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2019 Forte which enters its third generation with a more sophisticated design and desirable features that transforms one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles into something more than a compact car meant for getting people from one point to another. Thanks to a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies that are aimed to make the journey – whether a short commute or long haul – a more rewarding and decidedly upscale experience.
The Forte has evolved with a number of visual and feature enhancements, inside and out. The cabin is now more comfortable and “class above,” and integrates new driver assistance technology. In addition, the Forte ups its MPG game with an all-new powertrain that utilizes Kia’s first IVT, set to deliver an estimated 35 MPG combined1.
“The compact sedan segment is highly competitive, but with all the improvements the new Forte brings to market for the 2019 model year, it is more than prepared to take on the toughest the segment has to offer,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “As one of our top-selling models, the all-new Forte follows some large footsteps, but enhancements in styling, packaging and content make it even more attractive to drivers seeking a compact sedan that can accommodate their versatile lifestyle.”
Standard features and desirable amenities in the compact sedan segment continue to be available across three trims – LX, S and EX – with the model line continuing to expand throughout its lifecycle.
Sophisticated Yet Sporty Design
While the third-generation Forte retains its sporty and youthful image, it has graduated to a more sophisticated appearance thanks to a number of sleek and dynamic styling cues inspired by the Stinger fastback sport sedan. Lauded in the auto industry for its excellence in design, the Stinger is a product fueled by Kia’s bold and adventurous spirit and Peter Schreyer’s global team of designers translated elements of the Stinger’s design language onto the compact to give it a commanding road presence. Enthusiasts know that the right proportions are key, and like the Stinger, Forte’s long hood and short deck lend it an overall fastback-like shape. The cowl point was moved back five inches, creating a more athletic stance that makes the Forte appear well-planted to the ground.
Creases in the hood contribute to the Forte’s muscular appearance and distinctive design traits on the front fascia, including a fresh approach to Kia’s signature tiger nose grille and an aggressive black lower valance, enhance its presence and individual character. The front clip is flanked by a Stinger-esque headlamp design and layout. Separate turn signal indicators are mounted below on the front bumper, where air curtains improve aerodynamic performance and enhance the Forte’s technical appeal. Around back, the rear bumper gets the same treatment with separate reverse and turn signal indicators located beneath available LED taillights. Similar to the Sportage compact crossover, a sleek horizontal trim piece connects the taillights.
Creating the fastback shape strengthened the Forte’s exterior appearance, but it also gave engineers an opportunity to expand the occupant compartment in several key areas so passengers are treated to a comfortable space no matter how long the journey. Overall length has increased by 3.2 inches to 182.7 inches, allowing for more legroom and additional cargo in the trunk. With 15.1 cu.-ft., cargo room is among the largest in the segment and generous enough to accommodate gear for a group of friends on a road trip or a growing family managing a busy schedule. Additional headroom results from increasing the overall height nearly a half inch to 56.7 inches, while the overall width has grown to 70.8 inches.
While the extra 0.7 inches of width may not be noticeable to the naked eye, the layout of the dashboard paints a picture of a wide interior space. Again drawing inspiration from the Stinger, a horizontal theme creates a sense of openness and avoids clutter with clean lines and minimal buttons that are intuitively placed below an 8-inch color touchscreen. Aeronautically inspired spoked circular vents adorn the dash and increased soft-touch points create a comfortable and visually appealing cabin. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate easier ingress and egress, plus improved outward visibility.
Building upon an already solid structure that helped the current 2018 Forte sedan achieve an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Plus rating2, the all-new 2019 Forte strengthens its bones with additional hot-stamped components and 54 percent Advanced High-Strength Steel. Stronger seat frames are lightweight and provide a more comfortable seating position with increased lumbar support and denser seat foam for more pleasurable long-distance drives. The all-new Forte offers projection or full LED headlights and is targeted to receive the highest ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IIHS.
Because body stiffness plays a major role in NVH performance, engineers worked to increase rigidity for a quieter cabin and better handling tuned to match the Forte’s sporty and dynamic exterior appearance, resulting in a 16 percent stiffer body in white. New subframe designs help to improve lateral responsiveness, while steering feel is upgraded compared to its predecessor’s thanks to enhancements within the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system that reduce artificial steering feel and friction. Reworked suspension geometry provides a quick and nimble behind-the-wheel feel and evolutionary improvements were made to throttle and brake feel performance, yielding a smoother initial response at tip-in and a shorter stopping distance than the previous model.
A More Efficient Powertrain
Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine that benefits from Atkinson Cycle technology and a cooled EGR system. Typically applied to hybrid and electric vehicles, the Atkinson Cycle and cooled EGR technologies are designed to help boost fuel efficiency. The new powerplant can be paired with either a six-speed manual or Kia’s all-new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The engine and in-house-built IVT are the first of a new line of highly efficient “Smart Stream” powertrains that will make their way into the Kia lineup in the future.
Waiting before developing Kia’s own continuously variable transmission (CVT) allowed engineers to research issues often associated with CVTs and apply their findings in the application used in the Forte. One of the main criticisms is that they can create a rubber-band-like feel, and in an effort to address this issue, engineers built the IVT with adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt instead of push belt, a first in the compact class. This results in smooth and linear acceleration, and for a more enjoyable and sporty driving experience, a step-shift-like feel mimics a conventional automatic at wide-open throttle or when more acceleration is needed.
Noise is another issue CVTs can sometimes face and engineers worked hard to reduce this in the Forte by wrapping the transmission case in a sound-insulating cover to help quiet the typical “drone” associated with this tech from other OEMs. In doing so, NVH levels are also reduced by 5dB.
Horsepower and torque are expected to remain unchanged from the 2018 Forte, delivering an estimated 147 HP and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. Efficiency was the top priority and the IVT, together with the 2.0-liter engine, is estimated to return up to 35 MPG combined, about a 3 MPG improvement over the current vehicle. Official EPA fuel economy ratings will be announced closer to the Forte’s arrival in the U.S. later this year.
Brimming with Technology
Staying connected with advanced technology and infotainment features allows the driver to dedicate their important attention to the road ahead. In that regard, the Forte comes standard with an 8-inch color touchscreen with Android Auto™3 and Apple CarPlay®4 that’s integrated neatly on the dash and within the driver’s line of sight. With select smartphone devices, the system also has the capability to read SMS texts aloud through Bluetooth®5. Eliminating the need for a charging cord is an available wireless charging6 tray perched up on the center stack for compatible Android7 devices, as well as Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.8
Another welcome and surprising feature in this segment is an available 320-watt premium sound system developed with Harman Kardon that pumps out music through a unique speaker hole pattern on the door panels and throughout the cabin.
Kia’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)9 offered in many of the automaker’s more expensive vehicles make their way down into the Forte, making it an even more value-laden option for cost-conscious shoppers. In addition to Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW)9 and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)9, the all-new Forte is available with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)9 and Smart Cruise Control (SCC)9.Smart Cruise Control is designed to maintain a pre-set distance between the Forte and the vehicle in front and can slow the vehicle slows with traffic in certain circumstances.
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