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First look: Opirus previews Kia’s new style

Big boy: The Opirus is Kia's new flagship - but not in Australia.

Kia unveils future design direction with all-new Opirus sedan – but it’s not for Oz

30 Jul 2009

THE replacement for Kia’s flagship Opirus sedan has emerged in Korea, brandishing a striking new design language that previews the brand’s future styling direction.

Previewed at the Seoul motor show earlier this year as the Kia KND-5 concept and now officially codenamed the VG, the all-new premium sedan goes on sale in Korea at the end of this year and will also replace the Opirus in Europe and North America.

But Kia advises it will not be sold in Australia, where the mid-size Magentis sedan will continue to be Kia’s largest model.

“We have no plans to bring the Opirus here, because we do not currently compete in the large-car segment,” said Kia Australia spokesman Jonathan Fletcher.

“For Australia, the Opirus is a strong design story because many of its design elements are evidence of the maturing of Kia design, which began with the new Sorento and continued with the Soul.

“So while it is the next step in the development of Kia design, it is not a car we will take,” said Mr Fletcher.

17 center imageOfficial renderings of Kia’s new top-shelf sedan, which is based on the same large front-wheel drive platform as parent company Hyundai’s next-generation Grandeur flagship (known as the Azera in the US), show a bold new front-end design comprising Kia’s new corporate grille and LED running lights.

LED technology extends to the tail-lights and side mirrors of the VG, which rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and should come powered by 2.4-litre direct-injection GDI four-cylinder and 3.5-litre Lambda V6 petrol engine, and possibly a 2.7-litre LPI gas V6.

“VG clearly demonstrates the next stage in Kia’s design evolution and showcases our new design principle of ‘sophistication by simplicity’,” said senior executive vice-president and COO of Kia Motors Corporation’s International Business Division, Hyoung Keun Lee.

“The exterior is a seamless blend of powerful front, sleek profile and sophisticated but simple rear lines to create an elegant and luxurious appearance,” he said.

The Opirus replacement will go on sale in South Korea after its official debut in November, before being released in the US in early 2010 as a successor for the aged Amanti sedan.

Kia launched the Magentis here in August 2006 as a belated replacement for the Hyundai Sonata-based Optima sedan, which in turn replaced the forgettable Credos in May 2001 but only lasted until February 2003.

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