2019 Kia K900 Plans to Do Something Its Predecessor Didn't - Find Buyers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2019 kia k900 plans to do something its predecessor didnt find buyers

The photo you see above is your first glimpse of the 2019 Kia K900 — the second generation of the Korean automaker’s full-size flagship sedan. If Kia’s lucky, it won’t be your last time seeing it.

Sold overseas as the K9 or Quoris, the first-gen model appeared on U.S. shores in early 2014 with Hyundai Equus underpinnings, rear-wheel motivation, a choice of V6 and V8 engine, and LeBron James as a spokesman. Sales crested the 2,500-unit mark in 2015 before falling to 455 in 2017. Like Bigfoot, the K900 is large and rarely spotted.

Kia hopes to change that with the new model.

Scheduled for a debut at either the Geneva Motor Show in March or the New York Auto Show in April, the 2019 K900 goes on sale in the second quarter of this year.

Boasting what Kia describes as “sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling,” the next-gen K900 will add new driver assist features and comfort in an effort, like before, to position itself as a value leader in the luxury segment.

I’ve already stated why I feel a second-gen K900 is a pointless endeavor for Kia, at least in North America, so it’s not necessary to rekindle the argument.

As the Equus is long gone, new bones are in order, and the new K900 is expected to make use of the Genesis G90’s platform. There’s no reason why Kia wouldn’t borrow its powertrains, either. Having driven the G90, the Genesis’ attributes stand to correct the criticisms levelled at the previous K900: namely, numb steering and an overly soft ride. While still thin on the ground, the G90 felt perfectly refined, with a smooth, controlled ride and ample power from its 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6.

That engine makes a remarkably hushed 365 horsepower, 34 more than the first-gen K900’s 3.8-liter unit. Torque grows by 83 lb-ft to 376. A naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 makes 420 hp and 383 lb-ft, with both engines making use of an eight-speed automatic.

While the model’s long, high character line is similar to that of the G90, the pictured K900’s roofline is less formal, with a lower nose containing what we assume is corporate Kia grille. The taillights look like a mixture of Genesis and Mercedes-Benz.

While the new K900 seems like a great way to cannibalize G90 sales, Kia apparently feels it’s important to have a range-topping sedan positioned above the new-for 2018 Stinger. Two new rear-drive sedans from Kia in one year. The mind reels.

[Image: Kia Motors]

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8 of 23 comments
  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Feb 21, 2018

    VW Phaeton, Hyundai Genesis, Kia K900. What do they all have in common, besides being failures? Generally well reviewed sedans designed to compete with the big gun Germans, and costing thousands of dollars less, but sold at dealers with generally weak reputations for treating the customer well. You can easily take an upmarket brand down to the masses (see Packard, Cadillac, Lincoln, BMW, Mercedes as examples), but it is 1000 times more difficult to take a downmarket brand up to high society - especially sedans in an SUV/pickup market.

    • See 5 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Feb 21, 2018

      How is the Genesis a "failure"? It outsold everything but the E Class and 5 Series and that's w/o having available AWD. And the G80 is continuing that (outselling the Lexus GS by more than a 2:1 margin. Based on last year's sales - the A6, A8, GS, LS, XF, XJ, Q70, etc. were all even bigger "failures."

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Feb 21, 2018

    The K900 on the more modern G90 platform (which allows for AWD) should improve sales (maybe even up to around 2.5k - which was where the outgoing model did in its best year). Having the Stinger as a stablemate should help (just as the Genesis sedan served as a "bridge" to Equus sales).

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.