Published on March 29th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair


Kia Reveals their K900 Flagship Sedan

Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled the completely redesigned Kia K900 sedan at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, establishing a new standard for luxury. The all-new second-generation model combines a dignified and sophisticated exterior design, a beautifully crafted cabin of premium materials, and performance characteristics that befit a world-class flagship sedan. Reimagined in every way, the K900 brings with it an array of new systems and safety features, making it the most technologically advanced Kia ever.

Conceived and created in Kia’s design studio in Korea with collaboration from the Irvine-based California studio, the new K900 is slated to go on sale in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2018.


Tech-savvy Flagship

As expected, the all-new Kia K900 comes equipped with a wide array of advanced technology, connectivity and infotainment features. The center console features a tactile port dial that is both convenient and intuitive for driver operation of the 12.3-inch Human Machine Interface (HMI) touchscreen that displays maps, trip information, audio sources, climate controls and more. A newly designed, modem-based Premium Navigation system comes equipped with enhanced user-friendly features accessible via Kia’s UVO luxe sub-brand, dedicated exclusively to K900 owners. UVO luxe offers a full suite of remote features through an embedded modem in the vehicle and accessible once the UVO account is created on the website and the vehicle is enrolled. UVO luxe telematics features can be used from the desktop, tablet, or dedicated UVO luxe app, and all three access points allow remote start, setting of preferred cabin temperature, or easy to use features, such as Find My Car. K900 owners are also provided with a dedicated service representative reachable through a VIP phone line. There’s also full connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and additional convenience comes from a wireless cell phone charger.

When piloting the K900, the driver will benefit from either a high-resolution seven-inch color TFT instrument cluster or an available 12.3-inch color TFT instrument cluster with graphics differentiated by the selected drive mode – Comfort, Eco, Sport or Custom. Beyond the gauges, there’s an available 9.7-inch Head Up Display (HUD), teeming with content related to speed, navigation, audio, and driver assistance systems that allows the driver to focus more of their attention on the road ahead.

As part of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the K900’s Surround View Monitor (SVM) utilizes four cameras providing a 360-degree perspective with stitched images that provide a seamless view. Blind Spot View Monitor (BVM) provides the driver with a live video feed of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster and is activated via the turn signal. Utilizing the blind spot sensors, the Kia K900 also enhances visual awareness by offering a haptic steering wheel10 that can help alert the driver by way of vibration in the event of a potentially unsafe lane change if the vehicle senses the presence of another vehicle or object.

Additionally, on the ADAS technologies front, the K900 brings Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW), the latter of which is designed to advise the driver to stop the vehicle and get rest if it detects drowsiness or fatigue while monitoring driving behavior and patterns. Other significant ADAS systems are Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Alert (RCAA), which can automatically apply the brakes when backing up in the event it detects an object crossing a predetermined distance from the rear of the vehicle, Safe Exit Assist, which can help notify the driver or passengers if it detects potential hazards, including passing cars, bicyclists or pedestrians, when opening any door to get out of the vehicle, and Lane Follow Assist (LFA), which can provide a degree of automatic steering control in certain circumstances during Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) operation based on analyzing lane markings and radar-based front vehicle information that it detects.

A fully immersive driving experience is only complete with proper acoustics and the K900 delivers premium sound through a 900-watt 17-speaker Harman Kardon/Lexicon system, Kia’s most powerful audio system ever, featuring QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology and Clari-Fi technology. QuantumLogic extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail. QuantumLogic also offers selectable modes including Stereo Mode, Audience Mode and On Stage Mode, which highlights 360-degree instrumentation that will make listeners feel like they are on stage with the performing artist. Simultaneously, Clari-Fi works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally compressed music.

World-Class Powertrain

The Kia K900 has evolved into a truly sophisticated driving machine powered by a 3.3-liter twin turbo V6, the same engine found in the automaker’s highly acclaimed Stinger fastback sport sedan. This world-class engine outputs 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque and was recently named to Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for its exceptional responsiveness and refinement. The twin fast-spooling single scroll turbos are integrated into the exhaust manifold for enhanced durability. Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) works seamlessly in tandem, resulting in optimal and instant power delivery.

Since turbo engines typically generate more heat than non-turbo engines, a robust cooling system was required. To meet the challenge of extreme environments, Kia’s development team exceeded internal targets and over-engineered a system that utilizes a wider radiator for more efficient cooling and airflow, and adopted a high-capacity 600-watt brushless electric fan motor. Aiming to provide the highest level of quality and durability, Kia conducted testing and validation in extreme environments all over the world.

The engine pairs with a second-generation in-house built 8-speed automatic transmission to manage its power in a smooth and seamless manner. The Shift-by-Wire gear selector is standard and with no required scheduled maintenance under normal conditions, the transmission is excellent for everyday driving. At the same time, this gearbox allows quick and confident shifts during more spirited driving.

For an added dose of performance, improved handling, stability and agility, the K900 is equipped with a standard full-time Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control all-wheel drive system that is rear biased and electronically controlled based on road conditions. Following the Stinger, the K900 becomes the second application of this in-house built system and elevates traction and handling to help the K900 compete against its premium European competitors. Designed to improve performance in a variety of environments, it freely distributes torque between the front and rear wheels and also can send power from side to side, depending on conditions. Should the system detect slippage, power is seamlessly directed towards the front or rear wheels, depending on the driving situation. Up to 50 percent of torque can be distributed to the front wheels, and in Sport mode, up to 80 percent of the power can be routed to the rear wheels.

Vehicle Dynamics

A longer wheelbase and a wider stance provide greater control and stability, as well as an ultra-smooth ride. The chassis was strengthened over the previous K900, achieving a more rigid body with increased front and rear lateral stiffness thanks to a greater use of structural adhesives – 676 feet for the new model versus 279 feet for the outgoing K900. And with 25 hot stamped parts, the most of any Kia vehicle, the all-new K900 has four times more hot stamping than before. Torsional stiffness increased by 33 percent over the outgoing K900, helping to give the vehicle a more solid and premium on-road feel. The K900 is targeting a TSP+ rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Aerodynamically, the Kia K900 utilizes a wheel air curtain to minimize vortices inside the wheel arches by introducing air from the bumper. In addition, full underbody panels reduce air drag by “straightening” airflow below the vehicle. And an active air flap further reduces drag depending on driving speed. The end result is a drag coefficient of .27 Cd.

And when it comes to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), the K900 is already known for being incredibly quiet but further sound absorption remained a goal for the all-new model. This was pursued with the use of new and enhanced insulation throughout the vehicle structure, including the engine compartment firewall, the rear seat sandwich panel, under floor cover and vibration pad behind the headliner. An acoustic film on the windshield and front side glass dramatically quiets the cabin as does the use of resonance chambered wheels, plastic bands within the wheels which reduce road noise while driving.

For a large car to enjoy precise handling and a sense of nimbleness is no easy task. To that effort, the K900’s four-wheel independent suspension geometry, including a new front multilink design, is aimed at delivering tighter, quicker turn-in for a more athletic and spirited driving experience. The system is designed to improve driving stability and steering agility by increasing stiffness of the front and rear axle assembly. An available Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) is tuned to maximize driving pleasure and increase performance. ECS helps to reduce variations in wheel load, complimenting traction and reducing chassis motions. An internal damper system utilizes wheel acceleration sensors to detect rough roads and responds by modulating the suspension setting accordingly.

The Kia K900 utilizes an electromechanical, rack-mounted power steering assembly designed to increase agility and comfort. Equipped with standard variable ratio steering, the system delivers a “slower” off-center feel, which provides a better sense of stability, especially during high-speed driving.

Smooth and linear stopping force with definitive confidence is the result of a front four-piston brake caliper design in combination with a rear two-piston brake caliper setup. Underbody cooling ducts guide air to cool the brakes and enhance performance. The system features standard Corner Brake Control and Brake Fade Compensation, which are designed to automatically increase hydraulic pressure in the braking system as the rotor temperatures rise to maintain a more consistent brake pedal feel in certain circumstances. This results in a more linear stopping feel. There’s also a brake drying feature that can periodically apply the brakes (undetectable to the driver) to sweep water build-up and maintain consistent performance in certain conditions.

The cumulative effect of these various efforts is a more confident and refined driving experience sought out by discerning buyers in the luxury sedan segment.

The all-new Kia K900 will be built in South Korea at Kia’s Sohari premium manufacturing facility, shared with the Stinger.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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