2015 Kia K900: Performance Testing
September 2, 2014
As the most luxurious, most powerful and most expensive Kia ever in our fleet, our 2015 Kia K900 has proven to be quite popular, rotating through our staffers to see just what this thing was all about.
Quickly, the K900 and its 420-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 cruised across the 600-mile break-in mark and we were free. Free to floor it and rev the engine to redline. Free to get on the brakes hard. Free to do what we do with every long-term car when it joins our fleet, take it to the test track.
Big car, big motor. How'd it do?
Vehicle: 2015 Kia K900
Driver: Chris Walton
Front engine, Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 8-speed automatic
Engine Type: naturally aspirated V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,038 / 307
Redline (rpm): 6,750
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 420 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 376 @ 5,000
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P245/45R19 98V M+S
Tire Size (rear): P275/40R19 101V M+S
Tire Brand: Hankook
Tire Model: Optimo H426
Tire Type: Low Rolling Resistance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,650
0-30 (sec): 2.4 (w/ TC on 2.6)
0-45 (sec): 3.8 (w/ TC on 4.2)
0-60 (sec): 5.7 (w/TC on 6.1)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.5 (w/TC on 5.8)
0-75 (sec): 8.1 (w/TC on 8.5)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.9 @ 102.1 (w/TC on 14.2 @ 101.7)
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 126
Slalom (mph): 61.7 (62.1 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.81 (0.78 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,750
Acceleration comments: Initially, the K900 feels as if it will spin its tires, but the traction control system (TCS) clamps down hard and makes the car stumble off the line. Disabling TCS allows the tires to spin, but only slightly more and it really doesn't help acceleration, in fact it hurts it. Automatic upshifts are well below indicated redline in both Drive or manual-shift mode and are buttery smooth, but seem to last quite a while before the next gear is engaged. Manual-shift mode with the stubby BMW-style shift nub is accessed toward the driver, but upshifts are requested with a forward nudge and downshifts rearward. Nice, subtle V8 rumble and an admirable performance across the board.
Braking comments: Medium-firm pedal on first (and shortest) stop to softer pedal on last. Expected amount of big-car nose dive, self-cinching belts, some ABS noise, but no directional stability problems at all. Noticed brake-pad odor after four stops, so called it done with only minor distance increase over this group of stops.
Slalom: What starts out feeling like a pretty confident and capable car with good steering response and an ability to hold a good line with authority quickly deteriorates into a big task for a big car. Once the chassis gets the least bit out of shape, it grows more and more reluctant to transition and change direction. What's more is that there's an unusual "bump-steer" or kick-back coming from the steering wheel at the precise moment I needed it to be responsive and change direction for the next slalom cone.
Skidpad: On the skidpad, the car leaned quite a lot and I could really hear the tires howling. I am rather surprised at the amount of actual grip they supplied (from the 0.78g-0.81g figures). Steering felt informative, provided good precision, but ultimately the front tires were the ones that gave up first.
Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 1,017 miles