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Kia has just released a few design sketches previewing its second-generation Kia Cadenza sedan. The new K7, as it is called in its native Korea, is basically a model that sits one segment above the Kia Optima K5 we know in Malaysia.

Previewing what the next-gen version will look like when it hits overseas markets in 2016, these design sketches show a very aggressive exterior styling, with an elongated bonnet, a low stance, sharp lines, and some very stylish “S”-shape LED strips in the headlamps, it appears.

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There’s also a clear incorporation of Kia’s signature design traits, such as the “Tiger Nose” front grille and four-point LED lights on the front bumper – strangely, while our local-market third-gen Optima still features the four-point lights, the latest fourth-gen Optima appears to have dropped it in the US and Europe. The EU-spec Optima and the Hybrid model in Korea maintains a three-point light arrangement.

Inside, the sketched cabin is said to illustrate the Cadenza’s spaciousness and width, not excluding its luxury appointments. Kia’s official press materials also suggest that the K7’s cabin will offer “premium new design and higher-quality materials than ever before,” evidenced by the integration of wood trim panels, a leather-wrapped dashboard and more.

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Sharing a common platform with the Hyundai Azera — a fifth-generation model that sits just above the familiar Hyundai Sonata – it is uncertain at this point whether a new platform would be made available for the latest Cadenza, while we do expect to see a few familiar engine options carried forward, including the currently-available 293 hp/345 Nm 3.3 litre GDI unit.

That’s about all the information we have at the moment, but considering that the existing model is largely available in the North American market (also in the Middle East, and Korea, of course), one would expect the Korean car maker to reveal further details surrounding its flagship model there, and maybe even the whole car itself, at the coming Los Angeles Auto Show, which kicks off next week.

GALLERY: Next-gen Kia Cadenza K7 design sketches


GALLERY: Current Kia Cadenza K7