Kia gets gravitational with its new K900 luxury sedan
Kia has unveiled a new generation of the unfortunately-named K900 luxury sedan at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The second-generation model features the engine from the much-touted Stinger, a lot of infotainment technology, and new styling, making it lower and wider.
This new stance means that the 2019 K900 is now more gravitational in its handling, with a wider wheelbase and stiffer chassis and body. Those changes come from extensive reconsideration of the vehicle's overall dynamics. A longer wheelbase and wider stance naturally lower the K900's center of gravity, while numerous design elements aid an improved aerodynamics return at 0.27 Cd. The 2019 K900 now has more hot stamped parts and more structural adhesive use than any other Kia vehicle, Kia says, and now has 33 percent more torsional stiffness than the outgoing 2018 model.
Powering this is the same 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 that propels the Stinger fastback, producing 365 horsepower (272 kW) and 376 pound-feet (510 Nm) of torque for the K900. The twin fast-spooling, single scroll turbochargers on the 3.3 are integrated into the exhaust manifold and mated closely to the continuously variable valve timing for maximum performance. The 2019 Kia K900 also adds a larger radiator and 600W circulator to keep that turbocharged engine cool.
An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in the new K900, as is all-wheel drive with dynamic torque vectoring. A rear bias to the power output is the default in this AWD system, mimicking the Stinger's drivetrain design. Up to 50 percent of the engine and transmission's torque output can be sent to the front wheels when needed. In Sport mode, the K900 sends 80 percent of the torque to the rear wheels most of the time.
The 2019 Kia K900 needs something to stop all of that power, of course, and that's done by a set of four-piston brake calipers up front and two-piston calipers at rear. These are cooled through underbody ducts that direct air to them at speed. Corner brake control and fade compensation are standard in the K900, dynamically changing hydraulic pressure as rotor temperatures rise.
The exterior styling of the 2019 K900 is very different from its previous-generation predecessor. The 2019 model features a more sports-tuned, faster-paced look than was seen before. Kia's designers aimed towards "The Gravity of Prestige" as their mantra for this new K900 model.
The luxurious design of the 2019 Kia K900 is found in its simplified bodywork, less curvy edges, and more minimalist appeal. Details create the note of luxury that is expected, rather than the whole package losing sophistication in favor of ostentatious design.
Kia carried that ideal to the interior of the new K900, going minimalist in the overall look without getting too German in the process. The British element of a wraparound interior is used to create coziness without constriction, with uninterrupted lines from door to door. Materials choices hinge on any of four open-pore matte wood options and four soft leather choices.
Technology in the new 2019 Kia K900 is also a focal point, and Kia's designers worked hard to blend it with the more traditional elements within the cabin. A 12.3-inch infotainment screen (which Kia optimistically calls a "Human-Machine Interface" or HMI) centers the middle stack as standard equipment in the K900. Kia's sub-branded Uvo luxe underlies this infotainment system, providing real-time, on-demand information for items like navigation and vehicle access.
Users with an Uvo account can enroll their new K900 and have access to remote starting, climate controls, Find My Car, and so forth using just about any smart device including a desktop computer.
For the driver, a high-resolution seven-inch color display in the instrument cluster is standard in the K900 and can be replaced with a huge 12.3-inch TFT full instrument cluster with an upgrade. Graphics on the latter change per the selected drive mode, making them more dynamic or soft, depending on choice. An available 9.7-inch head-up display can augment either instrument cluster choice.
Standard safety and driver aid features include lane keeping assistance, forward collision avoidance, driver attention warning, rear cross-traffic avoidance, and lane follow assistance ... all going with standard features like adaptive cruise control and the like. An interesting addition to this new K900 is Safe Exist Assist, which alerts driver or passengers if a potential oncoming hazard is noted during door opening.
The 2019 Kia K900 will be built in South Korea at the company's Sohari facility alongside the Stinger. It will begin sales in the US in the fourth quarter of 2018, with pricing and other metrics announced closer to that time.