K9 armed to the teeth with new technologies

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K9 armed to the teeth with new technologies

When it is launched next month, Kia Motors’ K9 luxury sedan will be equipped with various new technologies that have not previously been seen in Korean vehicles.

The country’s second-largest automaker started taking reservations for the new sedan yesterday.

Kia also discussed the prices of the K9 for the first time. A model with a 3.3-liter (0.8-gallon) engine which can produce up to 300 horsepower will cost between 53 million won ($46,600) and 65 million won. A higher-end 3.8-liter version offering 334 horsepower will sell for between 63.6 million won and 87.5 million won.

Kia said the K9 will compete with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

It will also be the first Korean vehicle to feature an alert system that warns drivers when other vehicles or pedestrians are too close for comfort, courtesy of laser sensors that automatically detect the movement of objects in all directions. In such cases, side mirrors and a heads-up display will issue visual warning signals first, followed by aural alarms if the risk of a collision heightens.

The K9 also comes equipped with a “shift by wire” system, or an electronic transmission lever, as opposed to a mechanical shift, which means drivers can shift gears more easily using a smoother joystick. This is also a new first among domestic cars but is becoming common in luxury brands such as BMW.

The new sedan also has a heads-up display, another innovation spreading among domestic cars. This shows information such as the car’s speed and direction directly on the front windshield. The display’s color, brightness, and position can be adjusted manually by the driver.

K9 owners can choose among a number of driving modes - eco, normal, sport and snow - with each regulating the engine, transmission, steering and suspension to create optimal driving condition.

The new sedan also comes armed with more safety features, such as a cruise control that automatically adjusts the car’s distance from other vehicles using laser sensors. When there is a risk of collision, the seat belts fasten automatically. Moreover, the K9’s full adaptive LED headlamps self-adjust depending on the movement, speed and direction of the vehicle, while four cameras provide 360-degree views for extra safety at lower speeds. A UVO telematics system also allows drivers to gun the engine, turn on the air conditioning and locate the vehicle using their smartphones.

By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]

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