Long and sleek in the shadows, the K900 appears ready for a return to prominence

Kia has released a teaser image of its upcoming K900 flagship sedan. The redesigned model is due to hit dealerships and showrooms sometime this year as a 2019 model. Despite only being introduced in 2015 in the U.S., the need for an update became important after the model went through a rocky 2017 that saw only 455 units find new owners for the whole year. The new K900 is expected to debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show in late March.

2015 - 2016 Kia K900 High Resolution Exterior
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The previous Kia K900 actually wasn’t that bad

The previous Kia K900 actually wasn’t that bad. The Korean automaker wanted to make a splash in the luxury segment with the model, and in some ways, it did. The K900 was lauded for having a cavernous interior that was dripping with gadgets and gizmos aplenty. Its design didn’t take your breath away, but it also didn’t lead you to convulsions. The problem with the K900 was that it was a new model that came from a company that was largely untested in the luxury market. The sedan felt like someone who attended an opera for the first time. It dressed well, acted appropriately, but was still a little out of its element. It showed too in the car’s sales. Only 455 units were sold in 2017, and even in its best sales year in 2015, only 2,524 owners tried their luck on the sedan.

This brings us to the updated K900, a car that Kia is hoping will do better in the U.S. than its predecessor. We know very little about the redesigned K900, but based on this teaser and earlier spy shots of test mules on the road, Kia put in a lot of work in designing a longer and sleeker K900. It gives a clear vision that it will more be more competitive with models like the Mercedes S-Class and theBMW 7 Series. The side profile shown by the teaser exudes a more regal and stately silhouette. The hood looks much longer, and the high shoulder line presents itself well. If the

On the performance side, the new K900 should come with similar powertrain options as the Genesis G90. That would include a base 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that has 365 horsepower on tap and a bigger 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 420 horsepower. The previous K900 already used the latter of these two engines so there shouldn’t be any surprises when the new model once again brings it to the party.

2015 - 2016 Kia K900 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: Current Kia K900 pictured here.

The look and numbers paint one picture of our expectations for the new K900. But what the sedan really needs to improve on is its handling. The soft suspension is a given for a luxury sedan, but the K900 was plagued with issues of uneven handling and steering. It looked like a luxury sedan in every which way. It just didn’t handle like one.

That’s the biggest room for improvement that Kia needs to address with the new K900. If it succeeds in doing that, the sedan could earn more fans — and customers — on its side. If it doesn’t, well, it tried its best. Either way, we’re going to find out soon enough that Kia’s new luxury flagship has to offer.

References

Kia K900

2015 - 2016 Kia K900 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the current 2017 Kia K900.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

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Read more Kia news.

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