Kia K8 midsize sedan now available in South Korea
The Kia K8 midsize sedan recently went on sale in South Korea while proudly touting the brand new design philosophy called ‘'Opposites United," armed with gadgets galore, and a classy interior.
The development of "Opposites United" was led by the Kia Design Center in Namyang, Korea, with the help of Kia’s European and North American design centers in Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California, USA.
The design is based on five key design pillars: "Bold for Nature," "Joy for Reason," "Power to Progress," "Technology for Life," and "Tension for Serenity."
Bold for Nature - Kia said this took inspiration from nature and its details, shapes, and proportions. This design pillar creates "organic yet technical structures and finishes for vehicle interiors," while the exterior design is made from a "combination of clear and simple lines bold... surfaces."
Joy for Reason - Focusing on the feel and ambience of Kia’s future vehicles, this will "influence the mood of passengers (through) both relaxing and inspiring stylistic elements," Kia explained. It will also influence the use of organic materials and more daring colors.
Power to Progress - This builds on the brand’s current design strengths. Kia said this will represent "the designs and layouts of the brand’s future products" which will continue to evolve.
Technology for Life - With this design pillar, Kia said its future vehicles will adopt a next-generation in-car user experience (UX) through design, innovation and advancements in lighting, feel, and in-car connectivity.
Tension for Serenity - This refers to the K8's striking design concepts that use sharp, highly technical details to create "surface tension."
The stylish K8 can be at had with six colors such as Snow White Pearl, Steel Gray, Interstellar Gray, Aurora Black Pearl, Gravity Blue, and Deep Forest Green.
On the technology front, Kia's Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) has been fitted in the K8. ADAS includes an alphabet soup of safety features.
One of these safety features is the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which will stop the K8 if it detects an impending collision with objects in front.
Once the FCA detects these objects, it will provide a warning to the driver. If the driver fails to stop the car in time, the FCA will then apply the brakes.
The K8's Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) will send a warning to the driver when the car is exceeding the speed limit. The ISLA uses data from the front view camera or navigation system to assess the vehicle speed.
Meanwhile, the navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) will maintain vehicle speed on the highway using live navigation data.
The Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) will maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway, while the Surround View Monitor (SVM) will show real-time video footage of the K8's surroundings during parking maneuvers.
The Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) will prevent collisions with rear objects while reversing. If there is a risk of collision, PCA provides a warning, then automatically assists with emergency braking if the driver fails to respond.
Inside, a panoramic curved display that links a 12-inch digital cluster and a 12-inch infotainment system dominates the dashboard.
From this system, the 14-speaker sound system from Meridian Audio can be controlled. Kia said. The system can produce crystal-clear sound similar to that in a real concert hall.
Adding to the K8's suite of gadgets is Kia's all-new 12-inch head-up display technology which presents essential data for the driver in their eye line, including ADAS, navigation information, and current speed.
The K8 also features the Ergo Motion Seat, which will automatically adjust the driver's seat depending on the driving conditions using air pockets. In more relaxed driving, the hip and backrest stretches out for more support.
The seat's smart support function then lowers the seat, and stiffens the side bolsters against the driver's body when the K8's sport mode is activated, or when the car exceeds 130kph. Lastly, the posture assistance function creates a more comfortable seat in long drives.
With Napa leather, a set of ambient lighting, detailed wood, and the expected power outlets and media controls for the rear passengers, the K8 interior truly seems to be the "automotive lounge" that Kia has described it.
Four engines will power the K8: a 1.6-liter T-GDI, a 2.5-liter GDI, and a 3.5-liter mill in different guises.
The 3.5-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) produces 300ps and 359Nm of torque, while the 3.5 LPI (liquid propane injection) has 240ps with 314Nm.
The 2.5-liter GDI delivers 198ps and 248Nm of torque. Like the Smartstream engine, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder is said to have GDI and MPI dual injection technology that aim to improve fuel economy and lower emissions.
An eight-speed automatic gearbox will accompany the 2.5 GDI and 3.5 GDI and LPI. All-wheel-drive (AWD) will be available with the 3.5.
Kia added that the K8 will soon arrive in selected global markets.
Photos from Kia