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Kia composes a new Cadenza

Large gap: Kia Motors Australia won't enter the large-car market any time soon, as the new Cadenza is left-hand drive only.

First look: Kia’s new large flagship to miss the boat to Australia

19 Oct 2009

KIA has released images of the production version of its Commodore-sized flagship which it has dubbed Cadenza – Italian for a musical flourish – for markets outside South Korea.

However, Holden and Ford Australia can rest easy – the left-hand-drive sedan is not slated for Australia.

Kia Motors Australia public relations manager Jonathon Fletcher told GoAuto today that Kia has no plans to make a right-hand drive version of the Cadenza “at this stage”.

Along with the temporary demise of the mid-sized Magentis on this market, this means Kia Motors Australia will have no four-door sedan bigger than its small Cerato until the next-generation Magentis arrives next year.

Kia dealers sold no Magentis cars in September, effectively signaling the end of the current model that was launched here in August 2006 as a belated replacement for the Hyundai Sonata-based Optima sedan.

Kia Motor Australia decided not to take the facelifted Magentis earlier this year, as its dealers were overloaded with ageing stock at that time, and instead elected to start fresh with the all-new Magentis due in mid 2010.

17 center imageLeft: Kia Cadenza. Below: The Kia KND-5 concept car.



“It made no commercial sense to launch the facelift of the old model this year and then launch the new model next year,” Mr Fletcher said.

The new front-drive Cadenza was designed by former Audi stylist Peter Schreyer – best known for his work on the original Audi TT – and based on the KND-5 concept car shown at the Seoul motor show in April.

Codenamed VG and replacing the Opirus/Amanti sold in Korea and selected export markets, the Cadenza will be formally unveiled later this year at three Middle Eastern motor shows, in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai.

While Kia announced that the car would be called Cadenza outside South Korea, its media release did not confirm a name for the local market. Speculation is that it will be called K7.

Kia has held back details of powertrain options for the Cadenza, although the concept was shown with a 206kW, quad-cam 3.5-litre Lambda II V6 – the same engine that powers the new Sorento from parent company Hyundai – and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Apparently built on the same platform as the next-generation Hyundai Grandeur, the production Cadenza retains most of the styling cues of the concept, including the Audi-style LED headlamp surrounds, prominent Kia H-shaped corporate grille and side panel sculpting.

Kia says the Cadenza continues the company’s design DNA and high-tech feel.

“Kia Cadenza’s dynamic design and driving performance, allied with a raft of competitive passenger-friendly high-tech features, will make it a leader in the large luxury sedan market segment,” it says.

‘High-tech features’ include a heated steering wheel, powered extendable seat cushions for extra thigh support, automatic windshield de-fogging and ventilated front seats.

A ‘welcome system’ turns on interior and ‘puddle’ lights to greet the driver, while interior ‘mood lighting’ running in a strip along the dashboard “creates a warm atmosphere within the vehicle”.

The Opirus replacement will go on sale in South Korea after its official debut in November, before being released in the US in early 2010 as a successor for the aged Amanti sedan.

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