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Kia’s large car future emerges with Cadenza launch

Big boy: The new Kia Cadenza has been designed to "humble potential rivals", according to its designer.

Kia takes a ‘big step into the future’ with all-new Cadenza large sedan

26 Nov 2009

KIA has revealed full details of its new-generation Cadenza large car, a model that remains off the agenda for Australia but points to the design and engineering direction of the new-generation Magentis medium sedan due for release in 2010.

As GoAuto reported in October when the first images of the Cadenza were issued, Kia Motors Australia has advised (and reconfirmed this week) that its Korean parent is focusing on left-hand drive production, which with the discontinuation of current Magentis leaves the Australian operations without a sedan larger than Cerato until the all-new mid-sizer arrives around June 2010.

Described as a “big step into the future” for Kia, the Cadenza (or K7, as it is called in Korea) will reach international markets in 2010 after making its world debut at the Riyadh motor show in Saudi Arabia on December 12. It will also be shown at the Dubai motor show, which opens on December 15.

17 center imageSet to replace the decade-old Opirus (or Amanti), the Cadenza has emerged with a fresh new design, higher levels of sophistication, lighter weight, stronger performance and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

Despite additional equipment with the new generation, the Cadenza is 130kg lighter than the Opirus with a 1575kg kerb weight, which assists with performance from the 3.5-litre ‘Lambda II’ quad-cam V6 (with dual variable valve timing).

Producing 213kW of power at 6600rpm and 338Nm of torque at 5000rpm, the 3.5 V6 is the headline act from a trio of petrol engines to be made available around the world – one of which will be a 121kW inline-four, while the other should materialise as Kia’s new circa-150kW 2.4-litre ‘Theta II’ GDI direct-injection unit.

Driving the front wheels through an all-new six-speed automatic transmission (with sequential-manual shift mode), the V6-powered Cadenza is claimed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in an impressive 7.2 seconds and still maintain a sub-10L/100km result in combined average fuel consumption (9.36).

Top speed is limited to 230km/h, while the CO2 emissions output is rated at 223g/km.

The Cadenza sits on a 2845mm wheelbase and measures 4965mm in overall length, 1850mm in width and 1475mm in height.

Marking the first application of a new ‘Type-N’ platform, which will also be used on the all-new Magentis, the Cadenza has a lighter and stronger bodyshell and an all-new suspension system comprising MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear.

The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is geared with 2.94 turns lock to lock, and enables an 11.08m turning circle.

Braking performance comes via 300x28mm ventilated discs up front and 284x10mm solid discs at the rear. The standard (LX grade) wheel-and-tyre combination is 16-inch alloys encircled with 215/65 R16 tyres, while a higher-series EX model has 17-inch rims and 225/55-section rubber.

Kia has retained a traditional three-box sedan shape for the vehicle, but chief design officer Peter Schreyer has carved out a more flowing design with a drag coefficient of 0.29Cd.

LED lights are used in both the front and rear clusters, dual exhaust outlets are noticeable at the rear, and a full-length three-part glass panoramic roof will be available.

According to Mr Schreyer, the design team targeted “stand-out” looks with a modern feel that aims to “humble potential rivals”.

“Our new sedan looks masculine and luxurious,” he said. “Well-balanced proportions, flowing greenhouse and dynamic window graphic – plus the big wheels – give this car its confident stance, dignity and elegant personality.

“The distinctive ‘tiger nose’ front with its signature grille and headlights are evidence of Kia’s new self-confidence. Kia Cadenza is a big step into the future – another quantum leap for Kia.”

The interior has a number of features that bring Kia’s large sedan into the new millennium, including keyless entry/start, a “welcome screen” at start-up, “mood lighting” that runs across the floating two-tier dashboard design and around the door trims, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, a reversing camera and the full gamut of electric driver’s seat adjustment, including a seat cushion extension.

An additional large mood lamp, which runs down the centre of the cabin ceiling, will also be available.

The Cadenza is shorter than the Opirus, but the 45mm-longer wheelbase and more compact rear suspension combine to offer the three rear-seat occupants more room than before. Maximum luggage volume in the boot is 451 litres.

Production will commence at Kia’s Hwasung plant in South Korea this month for the domestic market, while export market orders will start rolling off the line in January 2010. Deliveries to North America and Europe will begin in March, with China coming on stream in June.

According to Kia, the Cadenza name is derived from an Italian musical term used to describe an “elaborate, ornamental flourish for a concerto or aria” and is neat match with the sedan’s striking new design and upscale image.

“With the Cadenza, we have created an all-new large sedan that will revitalise Kia’s fortunes thanks to its exciting appearance, strong performance and luxurious cabin which will guarantee a much broader consumer appeal, attracting thousands of new customers to our brand,” said Kia Motors Corporation president Hyoung-Keun Lee.

“Despite the current global economic uncertainties, we are confident that the new Kia Cadenza will substantially increase Kia’s share of this segment in Korea and around the world.”

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