At Global Cars Brands we love nothing more than coming up with long lists of cool cars and interesting information about the automotive industry and its history. Today, we decided to find out more – you and us, together – about car manufacturers whose names begin with the letter ‘K’.
A number of factors influence the type of car that a person buys, such as its features, color, as well as their personality, lifestyle, and social status. But some people are superstitious and we’re not talking only about superstars or famous athletes here. As such, you can expect some of them to drive only certain vehicles, depending on their names or other random features.
So, if you are someone who is looking for a car brand that starts with K, you are now welcomed to learn more about their origins, cars, and more. Here are all the car companies that start with the letter “K”.
Kia is easily one of the biggest car brands in the world right now. Founded in 1944, the KIA Motors Company is based in Seoul, South Korea. Aside from manufacturing excellent cars, this Korean brand is also known for leasing and providing maintenance services. The company’s merger with Hyundai in 1998 helped it conquer markets in Japan, Europe, and eventually the United States.
After being in the market for over 70 years, KIA launched plenty of cars for all kinds of needs, from small city cars, family saloons to great SUVs. Most recently, they began manufacturing hybrid electric and fully electric vehicles. But today KIA Motors is also responsible for manufacturing different car parts under the same name.
Kia cars have always been considered amongst the safest and most reliable cars out there. And once you consider the fact that KIAs brag about highly efficient engines and fuel tank capacity, you will realize this name should be on your shopping list the next time you are out looking for a new car.
The name Koenigsegg should be familiar to any petrol head by now. Established in 1994, the Swedish company was founded from the desire to develop a world-class supercar that could break speed records and impress anyone in the process. Did you know that by 2005 the Koenigsegg’s CCR was considered the fastest production car in the world? A few lucky people even got to experience that first hand.
Based in Ängelholm, Scania, Sweden, Koenigsegg has also developed several features that are changing the automotive industry; let’s not forget about the plug-in electric car systems and innovative engine technologies the company introduced. The Agera or Regera models might ring a few bells to some of you, but we’re more impressed by the new Jesko and Gemera.
Meanwhile, each Koenigsegg supercar is prepared on-demand, keeping the customer’s desires in mind.
KTM is a motorcycle icon that has recently joined the league of sports car manufacturers and they’ve done it with a blast. The company was founded by engineer Johann (Hans) Trunkenpolz, who set up a fitter’s and car repair shop back in 1934 in Mattighofen, Austria, where he started selling DKW motorcycles. But soon after they’ve started working on their own bikes.
Mostly popular due to their cool and extremely durable off-road motorcycles, KTM also developed the super fast light street-legal car known as the X-Bow. Powered by an Audi engine and sitting on a chassis courtesy of Dallara, this model was introduced in 2008 and accommodates two people who will enjoy the ride of their lives.
The X-Bow got even better with other versions, such as the GTX, which was revealed a few years ago. Today, the Austrian company is considered the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe and the company is among the world’s leading off-road motorcycle manufacturers as well.
Karma Motors is a company based in California, a luxury electric car manufacturer that was actually founded in 2015 following a takeover from Fisker automotive. It all started with Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, who sold their assets to Chinese company Wanxiang and ended up with the company we call today Karma Motors.
Karma vehicles are usually considered to be very powerful, with their engines developing as much as 1,300 Nm of torque and allowing the cars to do 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
The 2020 Revero GT quickly became a success, thanks to its incredible features and luxurious overall vibe. So, if you are looking for luxury electric cars that start with K, Karma Motors is definitely the right brand for you.
Kaipan might not be a familiar name for those of you looking for a brand new sports car, but it is worth mentioning that this company has been founded in 1992, so they’ve been around for quite some time.
The relatively small Czech automotive manufacturer is mainly focused on roadsters. For instance, the company’s first project, the Kaipan 47, was inspired by British legend Lotus Seven. Nonetheless, it was only in 2006 when their first original model was released: the Kaipan 14.
Kaipan cars have a wide range of engines, sourced from different companies, including Ford, Honda and Volkswagen. They have ultra light bodywork and they’re build with performance in mind, with amazing acceleration and impressive top speeds.
Back in 1901, German entrepreneur Wilhelm Karmann started a company bearing his name, dedicated to creating unique and beautiful cars. Over time, people got pretty interested in the company’s unique designs, which were usually focused around convertibles.
Please note the iconic Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible, as well as the Volkswagen Karmann Coupe and the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34. But don’t think this German brand was only interested in revamping Volkswagen cars.
Based in Osnabrück, Germany, Karmann has remained active and on the market, working hard on creating stunning designs for companies such as Mercedes, Porsche, Nissan, Renault, Ford, and Chrysler. One way or another, anyone would have wished to have such a car parked in their garage.
A company focused on producing plant equipment suddenly changed its course in 2006, when Mr. Keating decided to come up with his own sports car. The resulting supercar was revealed at the British Motor Show, taking everyone by surprise. After positive response and a few orders, Keating Supercars developed more models ever since.
The UK-based automobile company has produced five cars already, namely the SKR, TKR, ZKR, Bolt, and Berus. Sitting in the middle of the chassis is a massive 7.0-liter LS7 V8 engine, powering up the rear wheels thanks to a six-speed transaxle.
This German racing car manufacturer can be found in Cologne and began its activity in 1962, as a small tuning shop. Brothers Erwin and Manfred Kremer founded this racing car brand and managed to win various prizes racing with their cars for more than four decades.
The two brothers went on to tune-up many Porsche sports cars, but did you know that the Porsche 356 came to be as a result of their work? A slant nose, massive rear wings and more interesting features usually define this company’s designs.
After over 40 years of active racing, Kremer racing cars have allowed some famous drivers to put them through their paces, such as Bob Wollek, Klaus Ludwig, Mario Andretti, Rolf Stommelen, Hans Heyer, and Manfred Winkelhock.
As a testimony of their incredible designs, various racing teams order Kremer to manufacture parts and tune their cars in hopes of getting to the checkered flag first. Since 2017, the road version 997 K3-Road has cleared all TÜV requirements, which means Kremer cars can now be seen on public roads again.
Katech became famous for building engines for GM’s Corvette Racing team that has dominated the U.S. and global GT racing circuits for decades. This high-performance engine manufacturer is focused on tweaking engines and building performance-oriented car components.
Known for creating massive and sturdy engines, capable of delivering high speeds and fast acceleration times, this brand made its presence felt on numerous cars. Some of the models Katech worked its magic on include the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, C3R Chevrolet and the Chevy Camaro ZL1 – do you notice a pattern there?
The racing brand is known for developing the first modern GM V16, the first E85-powered Corvette and also first 500 cubic-inch small block without block modification. Should we also mention the first LS7-powered Camaro?
Katech is a premier performance engine and vehicle builder serving the aftermarket, motorsports, and corporate markets for more than 40 years. Winning races is their thing – Indy, Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, Dakar, you name it.
This boutique automotive manufacturer only reached the market in 2009, when their first car was revealed – although the company has been active since 1962. Kepler Motors was founded by Russ Wick, the man who holds the record for being the only human who hit over 200 mph both on water and land.
The brand’s first vehicle was introduced at the 2009 Dubai International Motor Show and quickly grabbed everyone’s attention thanks to its unique features. It packed a twin-turbo V6 powering up the rear axle, while two electric motors developing 250 hp each sat at the front.
With a 200 mph top speed and 0 to 60 mph in under 2.5 seconds, I think it’s safe to say that everyone would want one of those.
Founded by Henry J. Kaiser and Joseph W. Frazer back in 1945, Kaiser Motors spawned multiple brands. Once one of the most popular US luxury automobile manufacturers, this company introduced several passenger vehicle models with lovely car body types.
The American car manufacturing company was based in Michigan and used this name between 1945 and 1953, but following a merger with Willys Overland, everything became Willys incorporated.
By 1963, the company changed its name yet again, opting to be called the Kaiser-Jeep Corporation, and was sold shortly after. The company disappeared and everything else is history.
Founded just a few years ago, back in 2017, Karlmann King managed to make a reputation for itself really fast. The up and coming automobile company has become known for its radical luxury SUV that claims to be the world’s most powerful SUV.
Oddly enough, we are dealing with a brand whose money come from the Beijing-based International Automotive Technologies, while a factory in Italy is responsible for developing these extreme vehicles. But at the end of the day, the company officially operates from Los Angeles, USA.
The Karlmann King SUV packs quite a lot of interesting features, such as a large TV, coffee maker, recliners, and much more – adding to the price tag of the world’s priciest SUV. Made to order, this low-production SUV is what you might consider a very limited model.
Keinath Automobilbau, a German automotive brand established in 1983 by Horst Keinath, is based in Reutlingen, Germany. This car maker initially began by producing a convertible variant of the iconic Opel Monza, while an iteration of the Vauxhall Cavalier Mark 2 quickly followed.
The company went on to design its own car a few years later, called the GTR, a limited-production run convertible sports car with a hard-top roof. The GTR featured a choice of 2.0-litre, 2.5-litre, or 3.0-litre Opel engines, although an upgrade allowed drivers to enjoy a massive 5.7-liter LS family V8 engine.
The GT/C model pictured above followed, a 2-door sports car available as a coupé or a convertible, was powered by a 3.2-litre V6 engine good for 218 PS and capable of pushing the vehicle towards a top speed of 250 km/h. The brand still operates independently today, by the way.
Koenig Specials GmbH or simply Koenig is a German tuning house based in Munich. This tuning company became popular after modifying various luxury passenger cars, such as radical performance takes to Ferraris during the 1980s – feel free to look up the 1000-PS twin-turbo Ferrari Testarossa, known as the Koenig Competition, which featured extensive body modifications that made it resemble a Ferrari F40.
At one point, Koenig also entered into automobile production by revealing a road-going version of the Porsche 962, known as the Koenig C62, making this the first road-legal Group C-based car. However, Koenig Specials doesn’t work on full conversions anymore; instead, the shop has focused its attention on creating separate performance-oriented components.
Established in 1994 by Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, Kantanka Automobile is a Ghana-based automotive company. This brand has been known for designing, manufacturing, assembling and selling luxury cars on the African continent.
The company manufactures both sedans and off-road vehicles, with their lineup including as many as 8 models at this moment. However, company employees also work hard on tuning civilian cars and motorcycles, adding military-grade hardware and armor – how does a combat exoskeleton sound?
Able to handle the Ghanaian and African terrain, these cars are ideal for someone looking to purchase a durable and sturdy vehicle that can stand the test of time – or nature.
Founded by Cyril Kieft, Kieft Cars was a UK-based company dedicated to building Formula Three racing cars and motor racing vehicles. Some road going sports cars have also rolled the factory gates in Derry St., Wolverhampton, although they weren’t as successful as their designers thought they would be.
In 1954, Kieft started to make a two-seater road-worthy sports car that benefitted from a Coventry Climax FWA engine, an independent suspension and a lightweight glass fiber body. As cool as that sounds, the company was losing money and by the end of the year, the company was sold to racing driver Berwyn Baxter.
Hailing from Queensland, Australia, Kaditcha was a racecar company founded by a former McLaren engineer called Barry Lock. Focused on developing racing cars and open-wheelers for Australian Sports Car Championship, but not only, the brand quickly became famous.
During the mid-1980s Kaditcha sports cars dominated the Australian Sports Car Championship. Driver Chris Clearihan won the 1982 Championship while driving a 5.0-liter Chevrolet-powered Kaditcha racer, with the manufacturer finishing that year in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
The brand’s most notable project was Kaditcha K583, the first-ever closed-top Group A Sports Car in the country.
Keller Motors Corporation is now automotive history, but at one time it was a manufacturing company based in Huntsville, Alabama. The American company was active for a short while but made a lasting impression on the industry nonetheless, mainly thanks to the appropriately dubbed – the Keller Super Chief car.
With merely 18 units produced, the Keller was a reimagined version of a Bobbi-Kar produced between 1947 and 1950. Although Keller Motors had a staff of nearly 70 designers, engineers and purchasing agents on the payroll, the death of George D. Keller brought an end to production.
Nowadays, Keller vehicles are sought after by car collectors everywhere. You can imagine why.
Established in 1955, Kish Khodro is an Iranian car company owned by Mohammad Saffari. The manufacturer started off with a plan to create an Iranian car model named Sinad, powered up by Renault powertrains and available in more than one version.
A 1600cc Renault K7M engine and mechanical components were hidden by a body manufactured using the Vacuum Injection Shell Process (VISP). The Sinad, a front traction Jeep look-alike vehicle, was even granted the right to drive on UK and European roads.
Around 1,800 units rolled out the factory gates units everything came to a halt. Would you have wanted one of these?
American automobile and truck manufacturing company Kissel Motor Car Company was founded by Louis Kissel and his sons. Starting in 1906, the Hartford-based company custom built high-quality automobiles, hearses, fire trucks, taxicabs and even trucks.
The Wisconsin-based Kissel Motors also supplied the US military with trucks during the first World War. However, people usually associate the name with a beautiful speedster called Gold Bug, which was highly appreciated by celebrities during that period.
Following the war, Kissel prospered yet had to face stiff competition and the Great Depression. This resulted in mounting losses, forcing the company into disappearing from the market a few years later.
This German car manufacturer was not meant to last, yet the brand does deserve a bit of attention. Kleinschnittger specialized in microcars, and became popular by designing aluminum-bodied vehicles powered by single-cylinder two-cycle engines.
Active between 1950 and 1957, the brand used a 125cc single cylinder two-stroke engine for its F125, with 4 kW (5.4 hp) and a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph), to keep drivers excited. Not fast, these tiny vehicles were very fuel efficient and used less than 3 liters per 100 km (~.79 US gal per 60 miles), mainly due to the aluminum used in manufacturing the body shell.
The F250 model featured a 250cc engine, which used to output 11 kW (14.8 hp). Not powerful or fast, these cars were fun, cute and what people today consider environmentally-friendly, before this was even a thing.
Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, Knox Automobile Company was an American manufacturer of automobiles between 1900 and 1914. They also built trucks and farm tractors until 1924, but that’s another story.
Developing affordable vehicles, Knox was one of the manufacturers from the dawn of the US automotive industry. The most well-known Knox vehicle was a tractor-trailer with an air-cooled cylinder, dubbed the “Old Porcupine”.
This brand was responsible for building as many as 15 cars their first year – not that active, compared to modern times. The brand did not survive to reach modern times, yet here we are – talking about it.
Korvensuu was the name of a car constructed in Finland by Frans Lindström, owner of a small machine factory. The first-ever Finnish car was never intended for mass production, but rather as an example of what company employees and their imagination can do.
Powered by a 10-hp air-cooled four-stroke inline 2-cylinder engine while showing off a Torpedo body with two seats, Korvensuu was designed to turn heads. Design and construction was done during the years 1912-1913, with most of the car parts having locally built. The engine was unique, in the sense that the exhaust valves are side-valves and inlet valves are of atmospheric type, not connected to camshaft.
Before you get too excited, please consider that almost all of the few manufactured Korvensuu units are not to be found; as such, these highly rare items are quite expensive these days – if you can find one on the auction block.
As you can see, there have been quite a lot of car brands starting with K throughout time. Most them no longer exist, but they’re all part of automotive history and influenced somehow the cars we have today.