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Kia sings a new Quoris

Join in the Quoris: Kia’s K9 limo has been renamed Quoris for export markets.

Australia not entirely out of contention for Kia’s big luxury contender Quoris

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Kia logo20 Jul 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

KIA Motors Australia has offered a glimmer of hope that its big Korean flagship, the Quoris, might eventually make it to Australia.

Known in South Korea as the Kia K9, the export version of the V6-powered luxury large sedan will be sold under the Quoris badge, Kia announced this week.

The rear-drive car – which is related to corporate partner Hyundai’s Equus limousine – is to be built only in left-hand drive under current production plans, ruling out any immediate availability for Australian sale.

If that changes, Kia’s Australian arm might revisit the proposal, although the business case would then have to clear pricing hurdles.

Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Tony Barlow said that, while the technology in the Quoris was impressive and exciting, it was not an immediate priority for Australia.

“Kia Motors Australia currently has no plans to import the Quoris, but will continue to monitor the local market and can revisit that decision should it become an appropriate option,” he said.

The K9/Quoris is Kia’s first rear-drive car, and by far its most elaborate, designed to take the fight up to established luxury-car brands.

The name Quoris is said to be derived from the words quality and core, which Kia says “hints at the attributes at the very heart of the vehicle”.

Kia executive vice-president Thomas Oh said the name conveyed solidity, luxury and high-technology, “all resonating together as a chorus”.

“Our decision to give this striking new sedan an unconventional name means it will stand out even further from the established crowd, driving Kia sales in what is a new segment of the global automotive market for Kia,” said Mr Oh.

The export name was necessary to avoid the embarrassment of the canine connotations of the K9 tag used in South Korea since the car went on sale in that market in May.

The K9 is offered in its home market with a choice of 3.8-litre V6 engines – 213kW Lambda and 245kW direct-injected 3 – mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission from the Hyundai Equus and Genesis.

The car was shown at the Frankfurt motor show last year in concept form with a 291kW turbocharged 3.3-litre V6.

A V8 might be added for the United States, where the Quoris is expected to go on sale next year. Europe and China are also expected to get the vehicle.

At 5090mm long, 1900mm wide and 1490mm high, the Quoris is about the same size as both the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

Designed by Kia design chief Peter Schreyer, the Quoris will be armed with a swathe of safety technologies, including a blind-spot warning system that can detect fast-approaching vehicles up to 70 metres away.

Other technologies new to the Kia range include European-style adaptive cruise control capable of braking to a full stop, autonomous braking, lane-departure warning and around-view camera monitor.

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