Kia’s new flagship K9 sedan has begun selling in Korea. The company’s first rear-wheel drive large sedan in over a decade isn’t just to be a domestic offering – it’s set to be launched in a number of key overseas markets later this year.

The V6 and eight-speed transmission-equipped vehicle measures in at 5.09 metres long, with overall width and height being 1.90 and 1.49 metres respectively. The car has a 3.045 metre-long wheelbase, promising generous front and rear occupant space.

The K9 rolls in powered by an upgraded 290 PS Lambda V6 3.8 litre MPI engine, though a 334 PS 3.8 litre GDI engine will join the global engine line-up next year. The normally aspirated twin DOHC mill is mated to an all-new Kia eight-speed automatic transmission, which features shift-by-wire (SBW) technology.

Salient points include an ultra-stiff bodyshell made with 74.3% high-strength steel, as well as an electronically-controlled air suspension with five-link front and rear suspension geometry, and four driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow) enable the driver to choose a preferred set-up of suspension, steering, engine and transmission.

Depending on model, available active safety features for the car will include fully adaptive all-LED headlamps, a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), radar-based Blind-Spot Detection (BSD) and an Around-View Monitor (AVM) with four cameras.

Premium comfort features include a 12.3-inch full-size Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD cluster, a head-up display, twin 9.2-inch monitors to entertain rear seat occupants and a remarkable 17-channel, 17-speaker Lexicon sound system and Smart Cruise Control (SCC), which adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain the distance from the vehicle ahead.

A special “VIP” option will offer twin heated and ventilated rear seats with a reclining backrest, sliding cushion and lower leg support for the nearside seat, together with a front passenger seat that slides forwards when unoccupied.