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(LEAD) Kia Motors launches all-new K7 sedan

All News 11:51 January 26, 2016

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SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-ranked carmaker, began selling the fully changed K7 full-size sedan Tuesday equipped with its own front-wheel eight-speed transmission that enhances fuel efficiency and driving performance.

The automaker said that preorders for the all-new K7 have topped 7,500 since launching them on Jan. 12, adding that it plans to start selling the latest model in overseas markets as well this year, including in the United States and the Middle East.

The new K7 sedan hit showrooms seven years after its first generation debuted in 2009. Kia Motors said that it will compete with Toyota's Avalon and the Lexus ES350 in global markets.

"The all-new K7 goes beyond such a transitional impression as dignity and authority attached to large-size sedans and tries to contain a brand spirit of its own," said Lee Hyung-keun, vice chairman of Kia Motors during a launch event held in Seoul.

Equipped with its own front-wheel eight-speed transmission for the first time, the latest version of the K7 boasts "better" fuel efficiency and a "smooth" and "dynamic" driving experience compared with the previous model that hit the market seven years ago.

This marked the first time that it has been used in its vehicles, and Kia Motors plans to apply the transmission to other premium sedans and SUVs going forward.

The K7 comes in four different types of power trains, including 2.4-liter and 3.3-liter gasoline and 2.2-liter diesel models. It also plans to launch a hybrid model during the second half.

In particular, the 3.3-liter gasoline model will be equipped with an enhanced version of the Lambda II engine, which produces up to 290 horsepower and a torque of 35 kg-meters. It runs at 10 kmpl, a similar level of fuel efficiency of the 3.0-liter model under the previous lineup.

The new K7 is 4,970 millimeters long, 1,870 mm wide and stands at 1,470 mm. Its wheel base is 2,855 mm, which is 10 mm longer than the previous model, providing a roomy interior for passengers.

Its "intaglio" tiger radiator grille and the Z-shaped head lamps give off a luxurious impression, with its side emphasized as a sporty and speedy image, the company explained.

Peter Schreyer, who is in charge of automotive design for Hyundai Motor and smaller affiliate Kia Motors, likened the harmony of its interior and exterior designs to an "oyster shell" that fits well together. He also emphasized that the most striking impression is its "charismatic" exterior.

As seen in other recently unveiled models, Kia Motors has continued to focus on using more advanced high strength steel aimed at improving the durability of the vehicle without increasing its weight.

The K7 provides diverse convenience, including the premium KRELL sound system, along with driving assist features like Smart Blind Spot Detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Advanced Smart Cruise Control that will help drivers avoid accidents.

The price of the K7, excluding taxes and vehicles from rent-a-car companies, ranges from 30.90 million won (US$25,875) to 39.20 million won depending on the power train and options.

Kia Motors aims to sell 75,000 units of the all-new K7 annually this year, including 25,000 units in overseas markets.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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