South Korea’s second largest automaker has just announced that the new K9 luxury saloon has gone on sale in its domestic market. The RWD executive cruiser will also be exported to Europe starting later in 2012, most likely towards the end of the year. In overseas markets, the K9 will launch with a Hyundai Group Lambda V6 3.8-liter MPI engine developing 290 hp, followed by a 334 PS 3.8-liter with gasoline direct injection. The K9 will come with a huge wheelbase designed after German executive saloons, all-LED adaptive headlights, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), radar-based Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), a 17-speaker Lexicon (by Harman) sound system, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and an Around-View Monitor (AVM) with four cameras. “K9 is all about elegant simplicity, balanced proportions and simple surfaces,” says Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. “The class-leading long wheelbase, the prestige distance, large wheels, sharply upright short overhangs and a long sweeping shoulder line all work together in a harmony to give K9 a sporty, athletic proportion and a confident stance quintessential to a premium large rear-wheel drive vehicle.” “K9 is a clear signal of our intention and determination to compete head-to-head with the European luxury brands. And for Kia, our customers, and for me – this car is like a dream come true,” concludes Schreyer.