The Kia K8 will soon make its global debut and will be recently revealed to regional markets as part of a multimodel hybrid electric vehicle launch. This is the Korean automaker’s electrified response to big, opulent, and sporty front-drive saloons like the Nissan Maxima.
The K8 delivers a distinctly more dramatic look, a more upmarket feel, and a plethora of new or upgraded technologies and amenities over its Kia Cadenza predecessor. It is only second in Kia’s saloon model range to the full-size premium K9.
Compared to the vehicle it replaces, the K8 is a bit longer. Although it still has a front-wheel-drive, transverse engine design, the top engine option, a 3.5-liter V-6 with 296 horsepower, now also comes with all-wheel drive as an option. There are also available less potent 2.5-liter and turbo 1.6-liter inline-four engines. The 3.5L and 2.5L engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The new Kia logo is first shown on the K8, which is also a Kia. The hood and trunk lid prominently reveal the block letters. The 2022 Kia Carnival minivan will be the first vehicle in the country to feature this new symbol. Two 12.0-inch screens can be found within the K8, one of which is used as a digital instrument cluster and the other as the main infotainment display.
The Karim Habib-designed K8 builds upon and reinterprets the contemporary Kia aesthetic and characteristic “tiger nose” grille, as first fashioned by Peter Schreyer in the late 2000s, and includes the departing Cadenza. It is longer, lower, and has a pronounced and predatory look. The K8 has a more aggressive appearance and a flavor that is slightly nautical. The K8 is a shark-like vehicle with slender headlights, high waistline, sculpted surface, low-slung roofline, and fin-like bonnet ridges. However, the K8’s enormous, vertical grille, which is covered in a stylized diamond pattern, commands attention.
The diamond pattern is mirrored on the K8’s angled lower running lights and side indicators, which extend beyond the grille’s functional airflow opening. With the grille, lower intake, and low roof emphasizing the horizontal dimension, the K8’s narrow full-width rear lights sit below a curt fastback-like boot with an integrated spoiler and attract attention to breadth while also evoking movement with a boomerang-like side profile. The K8 HEV’s design, on the other hand, doesn’t distract from that of standard petrol-powered variants with any extra colors or parts and is only distinguishable by subtle emblems.
Kia K8: Complementary Pairing
The K8 HEV is powered by an electric synchronous motor that generates 59 BHP at 1,600–2,000 rpm and 194 lb/ft torque from 0-1,600 rpm. The vehicle is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct injection four-cylinder combustion engine, producing 177 BHP at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb/ft torque at 1,500–4,500 rpm. The K8 HEV boasts impressive performance, with a combined system output of 227 BHP at 5,500 rpm and 258 lb/ft at 1,500–4,400 rpm. The vehicle is predicted to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8 seconds and has a fuel efficiency of 5.9 liters per 100 kilometers.
The K8 excelled on level roads with brief acceleration bursts, directing output effectively and allowing regenerative brakes to recharge batteries. The K8 HEV’s electric motor’s batteries are not drained during high power and heavy loads on sustained and steep inclines, highlighting its strengths. Its punchy low- and mid-range torque that underlies its power accumulation is impressively immediate.
Kia K8: Squandering Cruiser
Also, the K8 HEV is smooth and elegant, as it gathers momentum with scornful ease and overtakes with seamless adaptability. It thrusts ahead with a sense of indefatigability and speed. The K8 HEV’s engine and driveline demonstrated increased responsiveness to throttle lift-off and winding down, a notable feature for a turbocharged hybrid. The K8 HEV’s 6-speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, performed smoothly and efficiently in manual mode. The vehicle drove the front wheels with a brief tire chirp under full power from a stop and at low speed.
The K8 HEV is a consummate highway cruiser that confidently and pleasantly clocks the kilometers, and it is refined, steady, and smooth at high speeds. While the K8 HEV handled highway flaws with a forgiving ride quality, it also handled slower speed bumps and potholes that were encountered during a test drive on Riyadh roads. This was true even with the vehicle’s huge wheels and low-profile 245/40R19 tires. Furthermore, the K8 has an almost wafting feel to its riding qualities, appearing to be more stable in vertical motion than its smaller K5 sister.
Kia K8: Smooth and Roomy
The K8 HEV handles better than one would anticipate from a huge front-drive saloon. It also has quick, direct, and light steering. Its natural tendency is for slight understeer when pushed too hard into or out of corners; however, this can be avoided via electronic stability interventions or by relaxing off the gas. The K8 settles into body lean in a progressive and reassuringly predictable manner while remaining stable through swift, sweeping turns. It maintains its tight rear grip while being barely bothered by mid-corner cracks and other road irregularities.
Kia K8: Technical Requirements
Engine: 1.6-liter transverse 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with synchronous electric motor
72x97mm for the bore and stroke
16-valve DOHC engine with constantly variable valve timing.
Front-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission
Engine power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 177 (180)  @5,500 rpm for a gasoline engine
BHP (PS) [kW] of the electric motor: 59 (60) [44.2] @1,600-2,000rpm
At 5,500 rpm, the combined power is 227 (230)  BHP (PS) [kW].
Petrol engine torque, in lb-ft (Nm), at 1,500–4,500 rpm: 195 (265)
Electric motor torque, in lb-ft (Nm), at 0–1,600 rpm: 194 (264).
258 (350) lb-ft of combined torque (lb-Nm) at 1,500–4,400 rpm (estimated)
0–100 km/h takes, on average, 8 seconds.
5.9 l/100 km of combined fuel consumption
Emissions of CO2: 96g/km
Size: 5,015 mm
1,455 mm in height
2,895 mm wheelbase
F/R overhang: 950/1,170
1,621/1,627mm Track, F/R
Ground clearance requirement: 145mm
Headroom, front/rear: 978/955mm (when the sunroof is open).
F/R: 1,170/930mm Leg space
Volume of luggage: 510 liters
Weight when empty: 1,650 kg
Electric-assisted rack and pinion steering
F/R suspension: multilink and MacPherson struts
Ventilated/ventilated discs, regenerative braking, front/rear brakes
The Kia K8 boasts advanced safety features such as rear transverse crashes, blind spot collision prevention, intelligent cruise control with navigation, highway driving assistance, and forward collision prevention.