Kia KH / K9 / Opirus official sketches

Kia has released a trio of teasers for its forthcoming range-topping sedan – codenamed KH – that will launch in the first half of this year. Our trusty spy photographers recently caught the KH out testing in the cold, and looking at these sketches side-by-side with the spy shots, we can get a better look at that full-LED headlamp setup. Moreover, the KH (a.k.a. K9, a.k.a. Opirus) nicely blends in with the rest of the automaker's design, with many cues from the Optima being carried over, as well as design elements from the large GT concept that debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show (we see a little bit of BMW 7 Series in there, too, but perhaps that's just in the sketches)

The KH is expected to ride on the same rear-wheel-drive architecture as the Hyundai Genesis, and while no powertrain details have been confirmed, it makes sense to assume that the Hyundai's 3.8-liter V6, 4.6-liter V8 and 5.0-liter V8 will carry over. Then again, the GT concept was powered by a unique twin-turbo V6, and while it'd be very interesting to see Kia launch this vehicle with an all-new engine not available elsewhere in the Hyundai/Kia portfolio, we won't get our hopes up.

Soon-Nam Lee, the company's overseas marketing director, says that the KH will go on sale in the first half of this year, "showcasing the best of the best of Kia." The car will initially launch in Korea, making its way to all other major markets throughout the year. Well, almost all other markets – Kia's press release clearly states, "There are no plans to launch the vehicle in mainland Europe and the car will not be coming to the UK." Bollocks.

Hit the jump for Kia's official release, and be sure to check out the KH teasers for yourself in the high-res image gallery below.