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Kia Trying Radical New Strategy For The 2020 Cadenza

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Look out Lexus, Korea is on the offensive.

It was weeks ago that Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis' chief designer Luc Donckerwolke went on record to say that upcoming models from each of the three Korean brands are set to look a lot different in the future. Not that current models look bad, but each of the three Korean automakers wants to do a better job of styling its lineup so there's no confusing it with one of the other brands.

But beyond that, Korea's three car manufacturers think that this is the perfect time to strike against Japanese and German automakers, and they plan to do that with gorgeous designs for new models like the 2021 Sorento recently caught being benchmarked against a BMW X5. That's not, however, the only car Kia has in the pipeline because the automaker is set to debut a refreshed version of the current 2nd-generation Cadenza sometime in 2020. Sticking with convention, Kia will debut the updated Cadenza in South Korea, where it's known as the K7, before bringing it stateside.

And while Kia has yet to make a full reveal in South Korea, the company has just posted teaser images of the K7/Cadenza to its Korean social media pages. Unlike teasers from many other automakers, the Cadenza's body can be seen clearly in these photos.

Just by looking at it, it's easy to tell that Kia has big plans for its full-size sedan. The Toyota Avalon-fighter looks a lot more aggressive now, featuring a larger grille, sharper and more aggressive headlights, a front bumper with more angles and openings on its chin, more pronounced character lines on the hood and side, and a single taillight strip replacing the chrome strip on the current Cadenza's rear end. Kia also gave its teaser Cadenza huge rims that look nice but will probably not make it to production.

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And unlike the BMW X1, the refreshed Cadenza sees numerous updates to its interior. Kia did a wonderful job of making the interior look less complicated and overrun by buttons. Instead of a small screen, the new Cadenza uses a larger infotainment screen that presumably houses many of the functions a driver previously had to use the buttons to access, all to give the cabin a streamlined look.

That leaves space for an attractive wood panel to run across the dashboard and calm the cabin's aesthetic. The buttons that are present now look sleeker thanks to the use of metal, while the steering wheel is updated so its controls follow suit. Overall, the new Cadenza looks like it'll stick with Kia's goal to give its cars a more sporty look. But it will also be the luxurious full-size sedan it's always been.

Given that the updated K7 will likely be revealed in Korea before the month's end, we should soon have a better idea of what the rest of the car looks like.