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March 22, 2010

SOUTH KOREA: Kia names new Magentis the K5

Kia's new D-segment family car, replacing the Magentis, will be called the K5 when it goes on sale in its home market in May after making its debut at next week's New York motor show, the company has announced. The vehicle had until now been known by its project name TF.

Kia’s new D-segment family car, replacing the Magentis, will be called the K5 when it goes on sale in its home market in May after making its debut at next week’s New York motor show, the company has announced. The vehicle had until now been known by its project name TF.

No decision has yet been made on what the car will be called in overseas markets but a Kia spokesman confirmed to just-auto that the Magentis name had been consigned to history. The new car is due on sale in the UK and Europe in the first half of next year – the automaker was still referring to it as the next generation Magenitis in a preview statement issued in the UK last week but had indicated it would get a new name.

The new sedan is the second model in Kia’s line to get an alphanumeric name beginning with the letter K which, according to Kia, stands for Kia, Korea, kinetic and the Greek word kratos, meaning strength.

Along with the new name, Kia released some details about the technologies applied to the vehicle and interior features.

Convenience features new in the K5 include what the company calls a biocare heated seat made with heat-producing fabrics allowing the seat to be warmed up evenly. The steering wheel is also made with heat-producing material with high conductivity, allowing it to warm up quickly and evenly in the winter.

The K5 will also be the first mid-sized saloon to be fitted with ventilated seats. These will be limited to the driver and front passenger chairs.

“The next generation of Magentis possesses the power to surprise,” said chief design officer Peter Schreyer in last week’s statement. “It’s a car that people will simply not expect from Kia – and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve.”

The K5 is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing Magentis.

“For this car we started with a clean sheet and worked to achieve an exterior design with a European feeling and stance,” added Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Europe whose team in Frankfurt styled the exterior. The interior was created by a design team in California.

Kia claims class-leading levels of safety and luxury equipment.

“This new model embodies Kia’s confident new design direction,” said Schreyer. “It’s a global car with individual appeal.”

The K5 will be launched in phases around the globe and will be seen here in the UK in 2011.

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