Kia prepares handsome new big saloon – but not for Britain

Kia has just released the first pictures of its smart new large luxury saloon, which is known at present only by its development code name, VG. If its styling really is as good as the initial images suggest, Kia can look forward to substantially increased sales in this segment, because looks-wise, this car's predecessor, the Opirus, was not so much VG as NBG.

In fact, the Opirus' dumpy appearance recalled GM's mid-eighties North American saloons - except for its nose, which was a vague copy of that found on the 1995-2002 Mercedes E-Class. It was never sold in right-hand drive markets such as the UK and there are “no current plans” to import the VG either, which seems a pity. Sales will start in Kia's home market, Korea, at the end of the year.

Kia doesn't disclose which of its design studios was responsible for the new model – in the last few years it has started designing cars in Germany and on the US west coast as well as in Korea – but the VG reflects the big advances that have been made since the company appointed Peter Schreyer, previously of Audi, as its styling chief. Let's just hope that Kia's ever-active Department for Slightly Silly Names doesn't harm the new car's excellent chances by calling it something daft.