This New Kia K8 Shows Where The Brand’s Design Is Heading, Even If It’s Not Coming To The U.S.

This car replaces the aging Cadenza

2022 Kia K8

The K8 is Kia’s first reveal under a new “brand direction”.

As Kia drops some sedans — including the slow-selling Cadenza — from the U.S. market, the automaker just debuted a brand new model in South Korea Wednesday. Meet the new Kia K8, the first example of the brand’s new styling direction, down to a new corporate logo on the front fascia. Not that I’d blame you if you missed it for the massive tiger nose grille, which brings its own unique elements to what was a largely ignored model, at least here in the U.S.

Actually, while we’re on the subject, I have a question. Does anyone else think the front end looks Ford Fusion-ish? Not that it’s a bad thing, but I can’t help but notice that in the headlights and some of the grille design. At any rate, it’s much more distinctive than the Cadenza, but wait until you see the back.

2022 Kia K8

That fastback roofline and rear taillight design pulls a bit from the K5 and a bit from the Stinger. It’s definitely not something you’d miss out on the road. Kia Global Design Center head Karim Habib says that the car’s aiming for a more premium look. To that end, it “takes direct inspiration from some of the world’s most technically advanced yachts.”

These 2022 Kia K8 shots only reveal the exterior at this point. However, based on the Kia K5‘s recent redesign, we can venture some guesses at how the interior will look overall. This car (and the one it replaces) tried to hit the luxury car mark more than the sports sedan, though, so I’d expect to see some more elegant touches and perhaps more technology.

Odds are the Kia K8 won’t make it to the U.S.

Unlike American automakers, most Asian marks are sticking to sedans. Since Kia just dropped the Cadenza and the K900 — two lagging models in the brand’s lineup — we may not actually see this car launch in the U.S. The K8 will launch in global markets this year, though the specs, available markets and pricing are all up in the air.