Full-size luxury sedan brings turbocharged power, tech overload
Designed as a collaborative effort between Kia’s Korean and U.S. design studios, the 2019 K900 is longer than its predecessor and features unique design cues such as a tiger nose grille featuring 176 jewel-like cells that create a ripple effect. Its headlights and taillights sport a new duplex pattern to give it more presence and to show off its wide stance. Chrome trim around the exhaust tips, windows, grille, and above the side skirts complement the standard 19-inch alloy wheels, which are also finished in a bright chrome look.
Inside the 2019 K900 features a minimalist cabin with a large floating 12.3-inch touchscreen as its centerpiece. Leather upholstery comes standard and you can upgrade to higher quality Nappa leather. Available interior colors include black, beige, Espresso Brown, and two-tone Sienna Brown, and they’re complemented with one of four types of open pore matte wood trim. Heated and ventilated front seats come standard with the driver’s side featuring 20-way adjustability while the passenger has 12. You can also option for heated and ventilated rear seats with 12- and 14-way adjustability for the driver and passenger’s side respectively. Additionally, the 2019 K900 is also available with multi-zone climate controls that allow rear passengers to set their own temperature.
Kia’s UVO infotainment system comes standard with navigation and a new UVO Luxe app specific to the 2019 K900 that allows owners to remotely start, change the temperature, and locate their car from a mobile device. Instead of a traditional gauge cluster, the K900 comes with a customizable 12.3-inch instrument cluster display and can be paired with the optional 9.7-inch head-up display. A 17-speaker Harman Kardon/Lexicon audio system will also be available and it features selectable modes including Stereo, On Stage, and Audience. The 2019 K900 will also feature an ambient lighting system that has a choice of 64 colors with seven special ones made in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute.
A full suite of active driver assistance features will be offered on the 2019 Kia K900 including lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and driver attention warning. Rear automatic emergency braking, lane follow assist, and safe exit assist are new additions to Kia’s advanced driver assistance suite. The car’s blind spot warning system has been enhanced with blind spot view monitor that shows you what’s in your left or right blind spot. A 360-degree camera system will also be available.
Powering the 2019 K900 is a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque paired to a second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive with torque vectoring comes standard on the K900 and can send up to 50 percent of torque to the front wheels in Normal model. In Sport mode, the system is rear-biased and sends 80 percent of torque to the rear wheels. The 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 and rear-wheel drive will no longer be offered on the K900.
Development of the second generation 2019 Kia K900 was done under the direction of Albert Biermann, president of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development for the entire Hyundai Motor Group. Biermann says the aim for the 2019 K900 was to achieve what he calls “confident comfort,” which is to focus on a comfortable ride while preserving drivability and steering precision. Compared to its predecessor, the 2019 K900 has a strengthened chassis with improved rigidity and superior front and rear lateral stiffness thanks to 676 feet of structural adhesives, up from to 279 feet in the outgoing model. Torsional stiffness has been improved by 33 percent, which should make the 2019 K900 feel more planted and solid on the road.
Kia improved aerodynamics on the K900 by using full underbody panels, air curtains on the wheel wells, and an active air flap to smooth out air flow, resulting in a 0.27 drag coefficient. Additional sound deadening material and an acoustic film on the windshield and front side mirrors help improve NVH. For improved handling, the suspension has been redesigned with a new front geometry to tighten the K900’s turn-ins and improve stability.
An electronically controlled suspension system will be available in the 2019 K900 and it helps reduce chassis movement and wheel load variations. Wheel acceleration sensors help detect imperfections and can modulate the car’s suspension according to the road surface. Brake Control and Brake Fade Compensation will automatically increase hydraulic pressure in the braking system as rotor temperatures increase so that the pedal feel stays consistent. A brake drying feature has also been added to prevent water build up on the braking system by periodically applying the brakes; however, the driver should not be able to detect when this occurs.
Kia will build the 2019 K900 alongside the Stinger in its Sohari manufacturing facility in Korea. The car will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018.