Kia unveils ‘tiger

Hyundai Motor Group’s Kia on Thursday unveiled The New K5, the third generation model of its bestselling midsized sedan, setting an ambitious sales target of more than 30,000 units at home in the first year.

“More than 6,000 K5 cars were preordered since Oct. 25, with hybrid models taking up the biggest portion, followed by gasoline models,” said Choi Yang-suk, head of the domestic marketing team at Kia, during a press conference held in Seoul on Wednesday.

“Although the midsized sedan market is not that strong, we believe the K5 will play a vital role in boosting Kia’s sales for next year.”

The latest K5 model came back after four years, blending its 13 years of heritage into a passion for innovation, according to Kia.

The previous classy K5 sedans were well-received due to their comfortable and decent image. The third-generation model, however, sets a new tone.

“The K5 embodies ‘power to progress’ philosophy with a modern and sporty exterior and progressive and high-tech interior design,” said Jochen Paesen, vice president of the interior design group at Kia.

The car’s strong front mask adopts a "tiger face" design for the first time by connecting the radiator grille and headlamp, Kia said, stressing that it has expanded its design identity from the previous "tiger nose."

It also takes on the familiar look of a star map-shaped headlamp, which has become the new signature for the company’s internal combustion engine cars as well as electric vehicle lineups.

The interior theme emphasizes horizontal lines and elegant and spacious design, said Paesen. The high-quality interior materials and line lighting that runs through the front rows enable a smooth and dynamic driving experience.

The 12.3-inch panoramic curved display, equipped with a cutting-edge infotainment system, allows video and music streaming services like Watcha and Genie.

Like its brother company Hyundai’s high-end sedan grandeur and family sport utility vehicle Palisade, the car also offers a “black-fit” option for customers at home which comes with an 18-inch black wheelbase and rear spoiler, and black swede interior materials.

Unlike its rival model, Hyundai’s Sonata sedan, which offers a 2.5 turbo engine option, Kia said the latest K5 is not powered by a high-performance engine to keep its price advantage.

“The sedan’s main target is not only the younger generation but those in their 40s-50s, who value price effectiveness. But we’ll consider catering to the customers’ needs (on the turbo engine) if necessary,” said Choi.

As for the possibility of adding a plug-in hybrid model, the company said it is “unlikely,” however, it is mulling over whether it would be efficient to operate such a powertrain lineup.

The New K5 has four options -- 1.6 gasoline turbo, 2.0 gasoline, 2.0 hybrid and 2.0 LPG. The Price is 27.8 million won-39.5 million won ($20,500-29,100) depending on the models.

For Korean customers, the K5 has added Wolf Gray and Moonscape Matt Grey exterior colors to its five colors. The interior comes in black, sand, and Martian brown.

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