New Optima all suited and booted
KIA has unveiled its new Optima medium sedan at the Ne w Y o r k Mo t o r S h o w ahead of its market debut later this year. The new-generation Optima (designed at Kia’s in-house Frankfurt and California studios) continues Kia’s design trend begun by the Cerato, with as many as five new powertrains, including a hybrid.
The new Optima sits on a new platform and is longer, wider and lower than the vehicle it replaces – 4845mm long (up by 45mm), 1830mm wide, a 2795mm wheelbase (a 75mm increase) and ground clearance of 135mm.
The new Optima will be available with three new Theta II engines, a 151kW 2.4-litre direct-injection fourcylinder (bound for Australia), a 207kW two-litre direct-injection turbocharged engine or a 2.4-litre hybrid, the latter to be introduced in 2011.
Australia-bound Optimas are also likely to be offered with a 123kW two-litre or a 133kW 2.4-litre engine; both manual and automatics will be six-speeders.
The new Optima’s safety features are likely to include six airbags (dual front, side and full-length curtain), front active headrests, tyre pressure monitoring system, anti-lock brakes, stability control and hill assist control. Kia chief design officer Peter Schreyer says the new Optima is a new strand in Kia’s growing design DNA .
‘‘It’s a blend of simple and fluid lines and elegant but uncomplicated shapes that draw the attention of the eye in much the same fashion as a perfectly tailored, fine Italian suit," he says.
‘‘From the distinctive sweeping chrome accent that stretches through the C pillars to the sleek greenhouse and flared wheel arches, every inch of the Optima projects a distinguished and refined style and extreme attention to detail."
The Optima also employs engine management systems like direct injection, multi-port injection and turbocharging to help bring performance to the brand without sacrificing fuel efficiency.
The new model is scheduled to be launched in Australia late in the final quarter, replacing the Magentis and bringing the Optima nameplate back to local showrooms after a four-year absence.
Also making its world premiere in New York is the Kia Cerato five-door.
FLUID LOOKS: The new Kia Optima is a real head-turner, and, inset, the Cerato.