Kia is performing exceptionally well here in the United States, and apparently won’t be letting up anytime soon. The Amanti officially died last year, but its replacement, tentatively called Cadenza, has been delayed longer than expected. In the first half of 2011, Kia will finally introduce its Cadenza sedan to the United States.
First introduced at the 2009 Riyadh Motor Show in Saudi Arabia, the Cadenza will stand as the halo car in Kia’s lineup. Although shorter than the outgoing Amanti, the Cadenza
sits on a 112-inch wheelbase, and has a larger interior cabin. Power is expected to come from a 3.5-liter Lambda V-6 that comes from the same family of engines that power six-cylinder Hyundai Genesis models.
Already on sale in South Korea, the Cadenza was initially scheduled to arrive in the United States early this year, but has since been pushed back to sometime early in 2011. Around the same time, Kia’s higher-end turbocharged Optima models will start trickling into dealers, which have the possibility of overlapping in price with the new Cadenza. Measuring 196 inches in length, the Cadenza is roughly five inches longer than the Optima, and will likely be fitted with a more upscale interior.
Turbocharged Optima models will start at $25,190, roughly $1000 less than the starting retail price of the Amanti when it was last offered. Kia’s target market for the Optima are main-stream buyers of midsize sedans, while the Cadenza is aimed at a slightly different market Kia representatives told Automotive News. Kia could position its Cadenza against the likes of the Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse.
Kia is also scheduled to introduce a redesigned version of its subcompact Rio model, along with a freshened Soul, both of which will likely debut late next year as 2012 models. "This is absolutely the fastest product cadence that I've personally been involved with, and it just keeps coming," Kia’s director of product planning, Orth Hendrick, told AN.