Big changes are coming to the sleek sedan.
The Kia Cadenza, known as the K7 in several markets including South Korea, is often overlooked in the full-size premium sedan category. Unlike the K900 and Stinger, the Cadenza is built on a front-wheel-drive platform, positioned as a Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon rival. Following its substantial refresh for 2020, the Cadenza returns for 2021 largely unchanged. Under its hood lies the same 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V6 with 290 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. On paper, this is an attractive package for more traditional car buyers who aren't into the crossover craze.
While the Cadenza is rarely in the spotlight, this might be about to change.
According to a new report from The Korean Car Blog, the Cadenza will again be receiving some major upgrades as part of Kia's decision to push it further upmarket. These upgrades are supposedly big enough to justify a new name. Goodbye K7 and hello K8. We don't know just yet whether this name change will apply to the US-market, but we wouldn't be surprised because there's been a recent precedent. The Optima is now the K5.
Kia has several reveals lined up for 2021 and the K8 will apparently be the first. Sales should get underway next spring in South Korea with other markets to follow soon after. Styling-wise, the K8 is expected to have a larger radiator than the Cadenza/K7 and will also sport 'C'-shaped daytime running lights for greater dramatic effect. A sportier silhouette is also likely.
The new Cadenza/K8 has also been chosen for a special honor:it will be the first model to wear the brand's redesigned logo. We reported last month the new logo, first revealed on the Imagine Concept (pictured below), is expected to debut next year, coinciding perfectly with the K8's reveal.
Given that the Cadenza/K7 have been virtually identical for years, we fully expect to see the K8 reach our shores in the near future.