First unveiled in February 2021, Kia is forging ahead with the all-new K8, a premium sports sedan that combines innovation and performance with a progressive and elegant exterior design.
With a focus on high-end luxury, premium quality and dynamic performance, the K8 moves the game on in the sports sedan space and will replace the hugely successful K7 (known as Cadenza in some markets) later this year.
The K8 represents a new model name for Kia and is the first model in the K-Series to bring to life the company’s new brand strategy, including the contemporary new logo that sits at the front of the sedan.
“Following our recent company rebrand, it was important to hit the ground running with a new model – the K8. This important sports sedan has been designed with innovation and elegance at its very core,” comments Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Design Centre in Namyang, Korea.
“While paying homage to the K7, the K8 looks to the future. Its progressive exterior takes on character and emotion, and combines those qualities with an expressive futuristic-looking front and a dynamic swooping rear, giving the K8 a high-quality, premium presence that takes direct inspiration from some of the world’s finest luxury yachts.”
Exterior design: embodying an exciting new future
Taking on an all-new name and the first model to be launched following Kia’s recent rebrand, the K8 has been designed with the future in mind.
At the front sits a new signature frameless Tiger Nose Grille that gives the K8 presence and authority. The frameless grille, which is integrated within the front bumper to give a clean yet expansive look, features an intricate diamond lattice designed to express the movement of light. The front lamps include a turn signal that resembles a row of shining diamonds.
Symbolically pointing the way forward – and sitting proudly at the very front of the K8, just above the reimagined Tiger Nose Grille – is Kia’s contemporary new logo that expresses ‘symmetry’, ‘rhythm’ and ‘rising’ elements, embodying Kia’s confidence and renewed commitment to customers.
The elongated K8 (5,015mm) features a sporty side profile with a dynamic character line that runs the length of the sedan and takes inspiration from high-end luxury yachts sailing across calm waters. Carrying across the diamond lattice design from the face of the K8, a diamond chrome finish runs along the DLO (Daylight Opening) line and the bottom of the doors, and finishes its journey at the rear lamp – adding confidence and gracefulness to the side of the sports sedan.
Completing the progressive yet elegant front and side profile is a dynamic and muscular rear-end that re-interprets the sedan of today as a ‘fastback’ luxury passenger car. Strong, dropping shoulders add to the drama of the K8 at the rear, while a clean tailored spoiler beautifully finishes the sporty, low roofline.
Running exquisitely below the spoiler lip is a futuristic-looking horizontal taillight that carries across the jewel patterned arrangements from the front and side and connects the K8’s next-generation LED rear light clusters.
The 3D vertical clusters hug the corners of the K8, emphasizing clean, angular lines at the rear and further adding depth to the ‘high-tech innovation meets high-end luxury’ appeal of the car. The first-ever K8 badge sits centrally at the rear just below the horizontal light dash.
All-new car, all-new name
The introduction of an all-new model name – the K8 – is part of Kia’s brand transition and represents the premium luxury space in which the new sports sedan will occupy.
K8 will build on the success of the K7 (which was introduced as a first-generation model in 2009) and establishes new benchmarks in premium quality and excellence in the sports sedan segment.
With a front-wheel-based AWD system, the K8 will offer a comfortable yet high-performance driving experience that will complement the simple, ergonomic ‘first class’ interior. The new model signals an upward journey in design, technology and luxury from the outgoing K7, delivering a class-leading package that redefines the meaning of sports sedan.
Interior vision: first-class luxury meets tomorrow’s tech style
Further demonstrating the recent rejuvenation of the brand, the K8’s interior shines a light on Kia’s ambitions for the future, with a focus on delivering new standards in automotive quality. Every element of the K8 interior has been designed with high-end luxury in mind, serving to elevate the senses of the driver and passengers.
Beautifully detailed wood materials help create a feeling of calm and natural wellbeing within the K8, while state-of-the-art tech connects the car to the modern world. A contemporary panoramic curved display links a 12-inch digital cluster and a 12-inch infotainment system, bringing together the K8’s advanced connectivity and infotainment technology. The display is clean, ultra-modern and easy-to-use, giving the K8 an effective minimalist-meets-simplicity tech style.
The K8 is the first-ever Kia vehicle to feature industry-leading audio from Meridian. The 14-speaker premium sound system from the world-renowned British audio pioneer delivers the finest quality in-car surround sound and is another example of Kia’s upward journey in realizing new levels of quality, technology and performance.
“The interior of the K8 is a canvas for our ambition to define the future, nature meets modern technology, and refinement meets uncompromised comfort. It is a first-class travel space that fulfills the needs of the driver and passengers,” commented Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Design Center. “The K8 is a modern sedan with a dynamic exterior that is matched by its progressive and elegant interior. This car – our first since our new company rebranding – puts us on the path forward as we look to realize our future goals.”
Comfort meets Luxury
K8 occupants are greeted by an open, comfortable and luxurious space the moment they enter the vehicle. A sleek, contemporary and minimalist style creates a wide cabin effect that is light in both touch and look.
Diverse in character and content, the materials used on the inside of the K8 have been carefully selected to create a complete high-class and high-tech cocoon. Beautifully intricate and detailed finishing on the wood surfaces – stylistic elements directly inspired by modern yachts – add depth and sophistication to the cabin. The luxurious use of wood is complemented by exposed high-quality metals that creates the feeling of youth and industrial chic, successfully marrying traditional with contemporary.
The intricate diamond lattice design that expresses the movement of light on the exterior of the K8 flows into the interior of the luxury sports sedan, creating elegantly stitched patterns on Napa leather. Kia’s innovative ‘Star Cloud’ lighting graces the K8 interior, projecting glittering and interactive ambient lighting on the door trim and dashboard areas.
At the bottom of the swooping curved display sits the infotainment system and air conditioning control, which is operated via touchpad, further reducing the number of physical buttons. The touch pad allows for the switching of operation modes between the two systems with a centrally located button.
Optimally positioned for the driver and front passenger is an ergonomic center console that features wood-based cupholders and glossy soft-touch switches, the latter sitting on a raised profile alongside the shift-by-wire transmission dial.
The K8 interior also debuts a new steering wheel design from Kia and the company’s contemporary new logo that expresses ‘symmetry’, ‘rhythm’ and ‘rising’ elements, embodying Kia’s confidence and renewed commitment to customers.
Due for market launch later this year, more information on the all-new K8 will be made available in due course. The all-new K8 will not be available for purchase in South Africa.