By on May 18, 2012

Automotive News posted a picture of a Kia K9 luxury sedan wearing manufacturer plates on the road near Orange County, California. Does that mean we’re due to get the K9 any time soon?

Once upon a time, my father worked for Kia Canada, and the company’s head office had a frequent rotation of Korean market cars sent over for evaluation. Some, like the Carens, made it over under a different name, while others, like the Enterprise, were merely showpieces for what Kia could do with a re-skinned, decade old Mazda platform. Nevertheless, I wanted an Enterprise, complete with back massagers and headrest mounted TV screens.

The K9 could very well make it here, depending on Kia’s push to bring themselves upmarket. It would need a new name, lest it evoke visions of Iams pet food and invasive, racially motivated vehicle searches. Unfortunately, a piece of forbidden fruit wearing Manufacturer plates is not always a reliable indicator of future product plans.

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14 Comments on “Kia K9 Spotted In California: Does That Mean U.S. Sales?...”

  • avatar

    Probably intended for US sale, but I wouldn’t take it as a given. Here in South Florida I’ve seen a few pre-production cars that end up not being for sale in the US. The manufacturers bring their cars over under special permit for warm-weather testing.

  • avatar

    That’s one awesome rear-3/4 blind spot. I bet the driver of the K9 didn’t even see the photographer’s car.

    • 0 avatar

      Doesn’t look nearly as bad as a lof of what’s on the road these days. I went to look at a CTS wagon for shoots and giggles a while back, and was shocked at the lack of rearward visibility. The C (or is it D in a wagon?) pillars are about a meter wide when you factor in that about 6″ on either side of the rear window is blacked out as well…

  • avatar

    At first glance I thought it was a new BMW. I don’t understand why people make a big deal out of Kia’s styling these days, the cars still look like clumsy rehashes of segment leaders.

    • 0 avatar

      Aren’t all car manufacturers guilty of copying others from time to time?

      It reminds of the old yarn that there are only 7 stories in the whole world and everything else written is just a subtle reworking of one the 7. I can’t remember exactly who said it, but it seems to be true. Same goes for styling.

      Personally, all luxo-barges look the same to me with older BMWs being slightly less disgusting that older MBs. However, new MBs look like the least turdly of the current crop of luxo-barges.

      • 0 avatar

        “The Seven Basic Plots” by Christopher Booker. Good book, and yes, totally applies. Anything who thinks that they’ve wholly invented something – especially in design or writing – either is lying, or isn’t paying attention.

    • 0 avatar

      You mean the BMW 5/6 Series which look like the Maserati Quattroporte up front?

      Peter Schreyer has been on record stating that the Quattroporte was the influence for the K9, and evidently BMW as well (not to mention the Jaguar XJ, new Ford Fusion and new Lexus ES).

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan


    Who let the dogs out?

  • avatar

    Doesn’t look like a dog to me. Looks like a pretty nice car. Wait, did I miss something?

  • avatar

    I’d say that it’ll eventually make it’s way to the US (after the K7/Cadenza).

    If Kia gives the greenlight for production of the GT, it would make for a 2 sedan luxury lineup.

  • avatar

    I’m curious if Kia has plans for the K7 to come to the USA. I’ve seen a few of them here in China and I must admit I like them more than the Optima(K5).

    K9 I think is a bit big for what I’m looking for.

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