Kia goes long with Cadenza

With the introduction of its new full-size sedan, Kia continued its curious blend of Korean and German aesthetic references under the leadership of former Audi designer Peter Schreyer.

The introduction was heradled with a revue featuring a blank-faced female dancer befitting a Robert Palmer music video, and concluded with a bit of performance art involving an actor wearing a box on his head that carried video screens showing Schreyer's face delivering his remarks.

Just to check, yes, we are in Detroit, not an underground Berlin discotheque. The 2014 Kia Cadenza itself displays Schreyer's trademark minimalism, but in a newly restrained flavour.

"I think the larger the car, you need to take care of the audience that is going to buy it," Schreyer told BBC Autos in an interview. "In the larger segment you shouldn't do something spectacular."

Spectacular-looking or not, the Cadenza puts Kia into the larger-car segment, one populated by the Toyota Avalon, Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Azera – its corporate cousin, with which it shares its platform and 293-horsepower, 3.3-litre V6 engine.

The strength of the chassis is enhanced by the use of high-tensile steel, which, along with details like the hydraulic transmission mounts, contributes to a suitably serene cabin environment.

Infotainment includes Sirus XM satellite radio, an 8-inch touch-screen display and 550-watt, 12-speaker Infinity sound system. Technology for outside the car includes adaptive high-intensity discharge headlights that steer into curves, forward radar for adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems.

Kia spokesman James Hope said on Tuesday that the Cadenza should be in US showrooms late in the second quarter, with pricing and fuel economy to be announced closer to launch.