Does a luxury automobile need the clout of an upscale badge to sell? The Hyundai group seems to be hedging its bets. Because while it’s spun off the Genesis line (and the Equus with it) into its own brand, it’s just revealed a new K900 that’s still being sold as a Kia.
Kia’s new flagship is both longer and wider than the model it replaces. It rides on a 60-millimeter (2.3-inch) longer wheelbase that now stretches 3,105mm (122.2 inches). That’s longer than the short-wheelbase version of the Mercedes S-Class sold in Europe, and almost as long as the long-wheelbase version we get in America.
Onto that larger frame, Kia has draped completely new bodywork, styled in California and Korea. The front fascia is dominated by a new grille design, with 176 jewel-like “cells,” flanked by a new set of LED headlamps. And there’s plenty of chrome to make it look more upscale than the brand’s emblem would otherwise suggest.
Inside, the Korean automaker promises “a high-class, minimalist” cabin environment that “provides the driver and passengers with a peaceful retreat in which to spend time.”
The added space provided by the enlarged footprint is finished in soft-touch, premium materials like wood, leather, and metal. There’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen display in the dashboard, 64-shade ambient lighting developed with the Pantone Color Institute, and even an analog clock from Swiss watchmaker Maurice Lacroix.
We’ll have to hold on to find out more. But the new Kia K900 is set to enter production in Korea shortly and begin arriving “in select global markets” in the coming weeks and months.