Though each company vociferously denies it, Hyundai and Kia are somewhat intertwined. With the uber luxe Hyundai Equus out there battling Benzes and Bimmers, it was just a matter of time until Kia brought forth a Teutonic flagship fighter of its own. And so, for the 2015 model year, Kia introduces the Kia K900, marking its move to position a product within the rarified ranks of the top models wearing stars, rings, and roundels.
Two engines are offered at launch. Kia’s first-ever V8 debuts in the K900—producing 420 horsepower and 376 ft-lbs of torque from 5.0 liters of displacement. Naturally, direct injection and variable valve timing are fitted. Additionally, the engine’s air intake is specifically tuned to maximize airflow (and produce a mellifluous sound), while its Teflon-coated crank oil seal is intended to reduce frictional losses and ensure smoothness.
Kia also offers a V6 engine for the K900—a 3.8-liter V6 tuned to produce 311 horsepower and 293 ft-lbs of torque. Like the V8, direct injection and variable valve timing are fitted to maximize efficiency and power output. The V6 also employs a variable load oil pump.
Both engines are mated to Kia’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox offers variable shift mapping to correspond with the three driver selectable modes; “Eco”, “Normal”, and “Sport”. The choice of driving mode also determines the sensitivity of the K900’s electric steering system.
Befitting the aspirations the K900’s manufacturer has for the car, the Kia is fitted with an adaptive LED headlight system comprised of 16 LED bulbs in each housing. Nappa leather, genuine wood trim in either Poplar or Walnut, multi-stage heating for all of the primary seating positions (as well as ventilation for the driver and front passenger seats) are also featured. A power rear sunshade is standard equipment, while V8 models feature a panoramic roof with a retractable sunshade.
The K900’s head-up display offers speed information, navigation system directions, and alerts from the blind spot monitoring system—as well as the lane departure warning system. Lexicon provides the 900-watt audio system, which employs an inverted subwoofer to free up space in the trunk. The audio system’s 12-channel digital amplifier feeds 17 speakers.
Kia’s flagship also boasts front and rear parking assist and cameras, rear cross traffic alert, a surround-view monitoring system, and advanced smart cruise control. This latter feature is capable of bringing the K900 to a full stop and starting up again when traffic flow resumes.
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