"We have an interest in all new models under development. A rear-wheel-drive premium sedan could be seen as a logical step from the Optima to the next level of Kia development," Kia Motors Australia COO Tony Barlow told Drive, an Australian car site. "It is far too early at this stage to be any more precise about the car but we will definitely maintain a watching brief,” he added.
The Australian website also talked to Kia’s Chief Designer and the person responsible for bringing the brand’s styling up to par and in some cases, even bettering the competition, Peter Schreyer, who was quite enthusiastic about the prospect of designing a premium rear-wheel drive sedan, without however, confirming its existence.
"I think when you can work with the rear-wheel drive proportion it is always good for the designer," said Schreyer. "For a big sedan it is the better proportion; fantastic proportion of course." When asked if the K9 would also give birth to a new design direction for the company he said: "Always we try to do that ... but I cannot talk about things that are probably in development."
The report goes on to say the Kia might surprise us at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show with the unveiling of the K9, either in production form as a concept study. If the rumors are true, you can bet on the K9 (or whatever name Kia decides to use) being based on the platform and mechanical hardware of the Genesis sedan.
Kia’s current top offering in the sedan segment is the front-wheel drive Cadenza, called the K7 (hence the reports on the K9 name) in its home market. According to Kia officials, the Cadenza will be launched in the States before the end of 2011.