Kia Domestic Sedan in Gasoline and Propane Versions


Kia has released details of its new premium focused executive cruiser to be made available to its domestic Korean market in both gasoline and liquid propane injection (LPI) guises.

While the range-topping 3.5-liter Smartstream V6 motor may cause some interest, it is the LPI variant that points the way to the country’s future in hydrogen fuel cell uptake. For many years LPI, and liquefied petroleum gas before it, has dominated the home market thanks to the cost of fuel savings. This means consumers are very used to fueling vehicles with service station nozzles not unlike to those used for liquefied hydrogen. So, the infrastructure and adoption of fuel cell in the country is likely to be rapid when the technology becomes affordable.

The V6 options are a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) derivative with 296bhp and 264ft-lbs of torque and a LPI stablemate with 236bhp with 231ft-lbs of torque. A 2.5-liter GDI engine is also available, delivering 195bhp and 182ft-lbs of torque. Like the Smartstream powertrain, this four-cylinder unit features GDI and MPI dual injection technology. The entry-level powertrain in the new K8 is a refreshed version of Kia’s award-winning 1.6-liter T-GDI engine, which will be available from the first half of this year.

In cabin technology includes a panoramic curved display linking to a 12-inch digital cluster and a 12-inch infotainment system. The K8 is the first-ever Kia vehicle to feature a premium sound system from Meridian Audio. The 14-speaker premium sound system from the British audio pioneer makes use of advanced materials and next-generation innovations to enable the very highest levels of sound quality tuned specifically for the interior of the vehicle. The system includes a titanium dome vibration plate tweeter that helps to reduce sound distortion and natural wood fiber dresses the vibration plate that is part of the door speaker. The K8 will go on-sale in selected global markets from next month, starting with the Korean market.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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