DETROIT - Kia put on quite the show Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show for the debut of its first sedan in the U.S. in a few years.
The 2014 Cadenza was driven onto Kia's Cobo Center stage surrounded by a dozen choreographed young women holding digital tablets. They circled the vehicle, revealing it to the audience as music thumped and lights flashed.
To cap off the theatrical display, Kia's chief officer of design, Peter Shreyer, took to the stage in digital fashion. Shreyer's face was shown on a man wearing four panels, one on each side of his head, as the CDO gave more details on the vehicle. The real Shreyer later joined his digital version on stage and posed for a few photos.
The elaborate exhibit was fitting for a vehicle which launches KIA back into the midsized sedan arena. The front-wheel drive, V-6 car is supposed to corner a market which Kia said is growing: the space between mainstream and luxury vehicles. The Optima's buyers have been coming from luxury segments, Kia says, and the Cadenza offers "level-headed" value with a luxurious look and feel.
Kia also boasts the sedan's 293 horsepower is best in class.
This may be a preview of what's to come from Kia. The automaker says it plans to reveal seven vehicles that will either be new or redesigned. Maybe there will be more theatrics.
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