Published on March 24th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
Kia Reveals The Full Specs Of Its New K8 Flagship Sedan
This spec sheet shows that this new Kia K8 luxury sedan has more to offer than just striking styling.
When Kia first announced the K8 to replace its K7/Cadenza, the South Korean automaker has pledged to bring this upcoming sedan into a more premium direction. Initial teaser shots of the exterior and interior showed promising signs that they are committed to this agenda, though this step up into premium-land is now made even clearer with the recent release of the full specifications of this luxury sedan.
Starting with the biggest news in this recent spec dump first, it is officially revealed that the new top-tier K8s will feature a new 3.5-litre Smartstream V6 that will produce 300 PS and 359 Nm of torque. Interestingly, there is to be a liquid propane injection (LPI) variant of this engine too for selected markets that outputs 240 PS and 314 Nm of torque.
Looking further down the powertrain options, there is of course also a smaller 2.5-litre GDI naturally aspirated four cylinder that is claimed to put out 198 PS and 248 Nm of torque. Kia however throws yet another curveball in this department with the introduction of a refreshed version of its 1.6-litre turbocharged T-GDI engine as the base powertrain option for this new South Korean luxury sedan.
As for the specs further down the drivetrain, the two larger engine options will be mated to an 8-speed gearbox that drives the front wheels only for the 2.5-litre, with AWD reserved exclusively for the flagship 3.5-litre variant. Elsewhere under the skin of the new K8, a new McPherson Strut and multi-link suspension set up for the front and rear respectively will supposedly ‘create the perfect balance between driving dynamics and ride comfort’ on this new Kia sedan.
Speaking of ride comfort and touching on the wider topic of NVH in general, Kia has claimed that it has went to great lengths to up the serene-ness within the cabin of this new K8. Among these measures include beefier sound deadening materials as well as a triple sealing solution for the doors that will supposedly ‘dramatically reduces unwanted noises’ from filtering into the cabin.
Moreover, leaning further on its new luxury-focused intentions, Kia has introduced its Ergo Motion Seat on this K8 that features 7 air pockets within the seat to enable the driver to find their optimum seating position. There are also three modes that will either create the effect of stretching while sitting down, hold the driver securely when engaging in spirited driving or provide a ‘sumptuous seating position’ during long drives.
Aside from this innovative driver seat, another first for Kia in this new K8 will be its panoramic curved display that houses both the 12-inch digital instrument cluster and equally large central infotainment touchscreen. This new luxury sedan also gains a 12-inch heads up display, not to mention a 14-speaker Meridian Audio premium sound system.
Continuing on the tech talk, Kia’s upcoming flagship sedan is naturally not short on any active safety tech. The highlight of which among the boatload of safety kit that come as standard is perhaps the Highway Driving Assist 2 navigation-based adaptive cruise control as well as its Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) feature.
Set to go on sale in selected international markets beginning from next month, prices for this new K8 has yet to be officially released yet. What is perhaps more-or-less confirmed though is that this striking new sedan unfortunately has nearly zero chance of actually making it over here to Malaysia.
PRESS RELEASE: The Kia K8 combines cutting-edge innovation and dynamic performance to establish new benchmarks for premium quality in the sedan segment.
Further demonstrating the recent rejuvenation of the brand, the K8 offers progressive and refined driving performance, cutting-edge Advanced Driver Assistance System, and a contemporary and clean interior space that provides the driver and passengers with a first-class lounge experience.
The K8 will go on-sale in selected global markets from next month, starting with the Korean market.
Engineering at the core
K8’s sleek style is matched with refined powertrains and driving performance
The K8’s four powertrains have all been developed to offer refined, smooth power delivery while improving fuel economy and reducing emissions (powertrain options may vary by country).
A state-of-the-art 3.5-liter Smartstream powertrain is offered in two power and fuel guises: a GDI (gasoline direct injection) derivative with 300 ps and 36.6 kgf.m (359 Nm) torque, and a LPI (liquid propane injection) stablemate with 240 ps with 32.0 kgf.m (314 Nm) torque.
A 2.5-liter GDI engine is also available, delivering 198 ps and 25.3 kgf.m (248 Nm) torque. Like the Smartstream powertrain, the 2.5 four-cylinder features GDI and MPI dual injection technology to realize optimized fuel injection across all operating conditions.
The entry level powertrain in the new K8 is a refreshed version of Kia’s award-winning 1.6-liter T-GDI engine which will be available from the first half of this year.
A smooth 8-speed automatic transmission, designed and developed in-house, accompanies the 2.5 GDI engine and the 3.5 GDI and LPI Smartstream derivatives.
Adding to the sense of refinement, the K8 has been developed to offer minimal NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), employing reinforced sound packaging materials including a triple sealing solution to the doors that dramatically reduces unwanted noises coming from the outside. Vibration levels are kept to a minimum thanks in part to a new vibration damper.
As a performance-orientated model, the front-wheel-based AWD K8 will be available with the 3.5 GDI Smartstream powertrain that delivers tailored power and performance driving characteristics while achieving improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. It allows the K8 sports sedan to always perform optimally, facilitating power and performance by actively distributing torque between the front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driving situations.
A MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension create the perfect balance between driving dynamics and ride comfort.
Progressive and modern space
An automotive lounge that fuses nature with technology and luxury with comfort
Every element of the K8 interior has been designed with high-end luxury in mind, serving to elevate the senses of the driver and passengers.
For example, the K8 features an ergonomically-advanced driver’s seat that uses no fewer than seven air pockets – including in the backrest, sides and hip areas – to achieve the perfect seating position and feeling when driving.
Named the Ergo Motion Seat, the leading-edge driver’s seat has a ‘comfort stretching’ mode that individually controls the air pockets of the hip and backrest areas of the seat, creating the effect of stretching while sitting down. There is also a ‘smart support’ function that tenses the seat against the body of the driver, creating a unison and helping to inspire total driving confidence. The ‘smart support’ function of the seat is activated when the K8 engages sports driving mode or when the car exceeds 130 km/h. It lowers the height of the hip area of the seat and strengthens the support to the side bolsters. A third innovative mode – ‘posture assistance’ – adjusts the air pouches located around the hip and back areas of the seat when driving for more than one hour to provide a sumptuous seating position.
Further enhancing driver comfort is a new cushion extension function of the Ergo Motion Seat that allows the driver to fully adjust the length of the hip areas of the seat to make it compatible with their height and preferred driving position.
The same care and attention to detail has also been given to the well-being of the passengers in the K8. Just like the driver’s seat, for the front passenger there is a high-tech eight-way adjustable comfort electric seat that offers the optimal seating position and resting space.
The ventilation and heating of all the K8 seats can be adjusted in three easy stages and the cabin can be sectioned into three main areas for ambient temperature optimization, meaning each passenger plus the driver experiences a bespoke lounge environment.
For passengers in the second row of the K8, there is a multi-functional fully-connected center armrest featuring a USB charging port, sliding cup holders and a media control device.
Further enhancing K8 passenger convenience, the rear area of the first-row headrests has been developed to encompass a hanger-type design, allowing clothing and handbags to be easily and conveniently hooked into place.
Advanced connectivity, infotainment and sound quality
A contemporary panoramic curved display links a 12-inch digital cluster and a 12-inch infotainment system, bringing together the K8’s advanced connectivity and infotainment technology for all inside the sports sedan. This curved display – a first for Kia – is clean, ultra-modern and easy-to-use, giving the K8 an effective minimalist-meets-simplicity tech style.
The K8 is the first-ever Kia vehicle to feature industry-leading sound system from Meridian Audio. The 14-speaker premium sound system from the world-renowned British audio pioneer makes use of advanced materials and next-generation innovations to enable the very highest levels of sound quality tuned specifically for the interior of the vehicle. The system includes a titanium dome vibration plate tweeter that helps to minimize sound distortion and natural wood fiber dresses the vibration plate that is part of the door speaker, adding to the natural and organic ambience of the K8 cabin.
Meridian Horizon – a state-of-the-art software audio technology that is part of the K8’s premium sound system – creating a three-dimensional surround-sound setting, mimicking the crystal clear audio that the listener would experience in a real concert hall. Meridian lntelli-Q – data-driven qualization – optimizes audio playback within the cabin based on data available from the vehicle.
Adding to the K8’s leading tech capabilities, Kia’s all-new 12-inch head-up display technology – which has a 50% increase in projection area and graphic size compared to the previous generation – has been applied for the first time.
This next-generation head-up display unit clearly visualizes essential data for the driver in their eyeline, including Advanced Driver Assistance System, navigation information and the current speed.
Advanced Driver Assistance System
K8 combines leading ADAS technologies
Kia’s renowned Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) reduces hazards, fully protecting occupants and other road users on every journey. As part of its ADAS package, the K8 features Kia’s highly acclaimed Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which helps avoid collisions with objects in front of the vehicle while driving. If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, such as a stopped vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist in front of the K8, FCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, FCA automatically assists with emergency braking of the vehicle.
FCA’s emergency braking capabilities also assist in many other driving scenarios for the K8. This includes if there is a risk of collision with an oncoming vehicle while turning left at an intersection or while driving through an intersection and there is a risk of collision with oncoming traffic from either the left or right. When changing lanes while driving, if there is a risk of collision with an oncoming or preceding vehicle in the next lane, FCA automatically assists with avoidance steering capability. Finally, if there is a risk of collision with a pedestrian – especially if the person is in the side of vehicle’s intended path – FCA technology automatically assists with avoidance steering.
The K8 also features Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) technology that warns if the car is exceeding the speed limit by using data from the front view camera or navigation system.
Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) helps the driver to drive the K8 at a safe speed on the highway using real-time navigation data. For example, if the driver sets the speed to the current speed limit on the highway during NSCC operation, the set speed is changed automatically whenever the speed limit changes. Further extending the scope of NSCC, for parts of the highway where there are corners and curves, the technology automatically reduces the speed of travel of the K8 before encountering the corner or curve. Upon getting back to the ‘straight’ of the highway, NSCC resets the speed limit to the original level.
Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and helps center the vehicle in the lane while driving, even through a curved section. In scenarios where the vehicle to the side of the Kia sedan is driving too close, HDA 2 technology assists to adjust the K8’s path, so as to minimize danger and maximize safety.
Surround View Monitor (SVM) technology displays real-time video footage of the environment around the K8, further increasing safety and especially during parking maneuvers.
Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) helps avoid collisions with rear objects while reversing. If there is a risk of collision with a rear object while reversing, PCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, PCA automatically assists with emergency braking.
Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) helps the driver to remotely park or exit a parking spot from outside the vehicle.
The K8 is constructed from high-strength but lightweight steels that boosts overall occupant safety. It also features nine different safety restraint and structure system applications, including driver airbag, driver knee airbag, passenger airbag, two front-side airbags, two rear-side airbags and two side-curtain airbags.