By on May 4, 2011

Are you ready to crank some Korean crunk (see video above) and cruise the town in a long, rear-drive, V8-powered… Kia? Get ready, as Kia Motors Australia COO Tony Barolow tells that

We have an interest in all new models under development. A rear-wheel-drive premium sedan could be seen as a logical step from the Optima to the next level of Kia development. It is far too early at this stage to be any more precise about the car but we will definitely maintain a watching brief.

The Hyundai Genesis platform-mate has been photographed in camouflage (click here for more Korean crunk-free images), and the rumormill has it debuting in Frankfurt this fall, or possibly the NAIAS next January. In any case, get ready for a Schreyer-styled, “proper” Kia flagship to come down the line at some point in the near future.

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22 Comments on “Are You Ready For: A Kia Flagship?...”

  • avatar

    Don’t get me wrong. I am very impressed by Hyundai and Kia. However, I do not understand the purpose of having these two brands. There does not seem to be any effort to differentiate them. This is the same path that GM, Chrysler and Ford went down and ending up having to dump all of these brands.
    I do however think that a different brand for luxury cars is worthwhile. Call it snobbery if you want but I don’t think that people want to spend 40-60k for a Hyundai or Kia.

    • 0 avatar

      Hyundai is only a minority owner in Kia and both together have much more than 50% of the Korean market.

      If you try to sell a $40k car than people will believe that you are selling good $20k cars which is an improvement for the Koreans. Besides they have their home market too.

    • 0 avatar

      I do not understand the purpose of having these two brands.

      It’s not that simple. Hyundai and Kia are literally “independent” companies that just happen to be very deeply in bed together. Wikipedia’s page is limited but not bad:

      “As of March 31, 2011, Hyundai owns 33.7% of Kia Motors… The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group also refers to the group of affiliated companies interconnected by complex shareholding arrangements, with Hyundai Motor Company regarded as the de facto representative of the Group”

      That pretty much covers it, with an emphasis on “complex shareholding arrangements.” Scratch the Hyundai-Kia phenomenon and you find only complexity with no end. I think it works here because they’re growing, have good differentiation, but haven’t built up so much capacity that they’re forced to attack each other.

      • 0 avatar

        I am not sure I agree with you on the differentiation part. Hyundai seems to be all over the map. You can get the really cheap Accent, or you can buy and Equus, all in one show room.

        Kia sells car that start at nearly identical prices to Hyundai (at least the base prices are withing $500 dollars). The difference seems to be at Hyundai, you can get a Genesis or Equus. That to me seems to be the differentiation. With this new announcement, it seems like you will be able to get a Kia Genesis now.

        I know GM takes some flack from the pricing and models from Chevy and Buick. But it seems to me that Hyundai/Kia is much more guilty of the same practice. I understand that they are 2 different companies with close ties, but the products are too close together. I think that this announcement weakens the Hyundai brand.

      • 0 avatar

        Steven – there is a little more differentiation with Kia getting the Soul (10K units a month – wow) and Hyundai the Veloster. So there is some difference – on the core business (compact, midsize sedans and CUV’s they have “copies” but that is to be expected.)

      • 0 avatar

        I understand what you are saying, but this same type of coping between GMC and Chevy and Buick is apparently not acceptable for GM. The pricing with Hyundai and Kia is even closer than GM’s. Seems like they are getting a pass while others would get lots of condemnation for the same practice.

        I am not against reusing platforms. I think this is required by everyone to be competitive. But differentiation can’t be that Kia has the Soul, especially if Kia is getting a platform mate of the Genesis. Pricing on the core cars and SUVs must be different and it isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        GM does branding better than most, and they put more effort into clear visual and dynamic differentiation. Example: GM’s Equinox / Terrain / SRX are similar 2-row CUVs, with different bodies and handling & NVH characteristics.

        Ford does a poor job making a Lincoln from the Fusion.

        Optima / Sonata look different, but are essentially similar under the sheetmetal. I think HKia will do just fine, as they’ve got the growth money to do what they like, not held back by old practices or so forth. Hopefully, they do a good job of it.

    • 0 avatar

      As an economist – the products need to be differentiated better – just as much as I criticize GM for having still too much overlap with very little differentiation (Chevy / GMC – only unique trim lines but same basic platform). I see this as becoming an issue when eventually Hyundai / Kia will be struggling to maintain its much larger market share.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Hyundai is defined by the Equus & Genesis, and aspires to be more of a traditional Luxury brand like Lincoln / Chrysler.

      Kia has gotten the short end of the stick, and is pushing in a sportier direction, like Pontiac / Dodge.

      Hyundai should cancel the Genesis Coupe and reskin it as a Kia.

    • 0 avatar

      Think of the relationship btwn Hyundai and Kia as being like that of Ford and Mazda when Ford owned something like 34% of Mazda – sharing platforms and powerplants but little else and directly competing with each other (Nissan and Renault in Europe is another example, albeit Nissan also holds a minority stake in Renault).

      Anyway, Hyundai and Kia (unlike the domestics) share NOTHING when it comes to sheetmetal or interiors (heck, they don’t even share AWD or infotainment systems) and Kia models are more directed at the sportier end of the market (Nissan, Mazda) than Hyundais (Toyota, Honda) – so, it’s not at all like what the domestics have done (there’s a lot more in common btwn Ford and Lincoln products than Hyundai and Kia).

      As for people not wanting to spend $40-60K for a Hyundai and Kia, more Genesis and Equus sedans have been sold thus far this year than the Lexus GS and LS models which have available AWD (unlike the Hyundai models which are just RWD for now).

      • 0 avatar

        “more Genesis and Equus sedans have been sold thus far this year than the Lexus GS and LS.”

        A little misleading. Nearly all of the Hyundai sales have been on the cheaper of the two, since the Equus just came out. Most of the Lexus sales are on the pricier of the two, the LS full-size luxocruiser.

        It’s kind of like saying, “Together, Kobe Bryant and his dad have scored 20,000 points.”

    • 0 avatar


      The next Genesis coupe is going upscale (where it should be) and will compete with the G37 coupe; Kia is working on a smaller RWD coupe which may only get 4 cyl powerplants.

      Kia is also contemplating a roadster down the road.


      While that may be true, still, who would have thought that Hyundai would be selling more E and F segment sedans (and that’s w/o having available AWD)?

  • avatar
    M 1

    That’s a sweet AstonMaseratiKia.

  • avatar

    … a long, rear-drive, V8-powered… Kia?

    Well, they may even build a quad-turbo W16-powered Kia, but this doesn’t necessarily mean people will line up to get one. I happened to drive a Forte Coupe (or ‘Koup’ as they call it) earlier this week and – sorry if I am being too blunt – good as it may look these days, it still feels like a piece of cheap crap.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the Koup is a cheap compact car; it’s no worse than the Corolla and in many ways better.

      Otoh, the new Kia Optima is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the mid-size segment.

      In addition, people will have the upscale K7/Cadenza in which to get acclimated to more expensive offerings by Kia (in addition to the Sorento which is selling extremely well).

  • avatar

    As long as it doesn’t remotely resemble the hideous Amanti, I’m OK with it.

  • avatar

    Kia, the poor mans Hyundai. Or Kia is just there to make Hyundai’s look good.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    If it the actual car looks like that photoshopped XJ in the video… I’ll at least have to test drive it. Might be the cheapest way to get your hands on the V8 that Hyundai developed.

    • 0 avatar

      The cheapest way will still be the Genesis 4.6 since the K9 is supposed to slot between the Genesis and Equus in luxury and price (based on the spy shots of the interior, it’s quite a step up from the Genesis).

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