has released the first official images of the production version of its upcoming premium sedan
that's currently slated to go on sale here sometime in 2011. Previewed earlier this year at the Seoul Motor Show in KND-5 Concept form, this de facto replacement for the now-departed Amanti will be called the K7 when it hits showrooms in Korea later this year, but will be badged as the Cadenza elsewhere. Although the volume-build K7/Cadenza has lost a modest bit of the show car's surface flash, it retains all of the fundamentally critical styling elements that Peter Schreyer, Kia's chief design officer, mandated in his original brief. That includes the new signature-look front end treatment as well as LED-enhanced front/rear lighting elements and an 18-inch wheel/tire fitment. The spacious interior will have a similar sense of elegant contemporary character matched with plenty of high-tech touches -- including a "floating" dashboard and soothing mood lighting. Based on a platform it will be sharing with the next-generation Hyundai Azera
, the Cadenza's powertains are expected to include both the 2.4-liter Theta II four and the new 3.5-liter Lambda II V6 driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, although an all-wheel-drive configuration also is possible. According to Soon-Nam Lee, Director of the Overseas Marketing Group, Kia Motors Corporation, "The new Cadenza will showcase the continuing evolution in Kia's striking design language through the harmonious blend of light and lines. It will also present a new concept in luxury sedans
in terms of performance and technology."