Kia has introduced a wave of new technology on its K9 luxury flagship model, which recently went on sale in Korea and is expected to launch internationally later this year.
Among the most advanced technology is a new shift-by-wire system that activates the automatic transmission, instead of using a mechanical shift. This technology is similar to the fly-by-wire systems used by aircraft manufacturers on their latest passenger planes.
Kia says the new transmission system used on the K9 makes gear shifts much smoother and we could see it used on other models in the near future.
Other aviation technology included on the K9 is a high-tech Heads-up Display, also known as an HUD system. Used on very advanced fighter jets, the Kia system uses a full colour Heads-up Display that projects important information onto the windscreen of a vehicle.
The system supplies the driver with the information and data on the vehicle’s current speed, navigational data, danger signals, rear and side obstacles. The system also warns the driver when the vehicle veers off track.
Also new is a Flex Steer system that enables the driver to select a wide number of driving modes (Normal, Eco, Snow and Sport) with each of them regulating the engine, transmission, steering and suspension to create an optimal balance between driving comfort, performance and fuel economy. Again, this technology is likely to permeate down to other models in the Kia range, especially the SUV and Crossover vehicles, making them safer on dangerous surfaces.
Adaptive Cruise Control is another safety feature of the K9 which automatically adjusts the car’s distance from other vehicles. The K9 will be one of the first cars outside Europe to offer this advanced feature.
The K9 is also equipped with Kia’s first-ever UVO telematics system that enables drivers to turn on the engine and air conditioning by using their smart phone.
The K9 makes use of fully-adaptive all-LED headlamps, a highly-advanced lighting system that automatically shifts the angle and breadth of the headlamps according to the direction and speed of the car, resulting in the reduction of blind spots.
Power for the K9 is supplied by the most advanced normally aspirated V6 petrol engine in the world, using direct injection technology to deliver the power of a V8 with the fuel efficiency of a mid-size sedan. The top version of the 3.8 litre engine delivers a phenomenal 249kW (334hp), using GDi technology.
These high-tech developments are a further reflection of the ongoing investment in technology by Kia Motors, alongside its already recognised leadership in vehicle design.