Optima in Kia’s fine line
There’s a larger, lower, more refined new model bound for Australian showrooms, writes Stuart Martin
THE new-generation Kia Optima continues Kia’s design trend begun by the Cerato, with five new powertrains, including a hybrid.
Designed at Kia’s in-house Frankfurt and California studios, the 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.
It will be available with three new Theta II engines, a 151kW 2.4-litre direct-injection fourcylinder, a 207kW two-litre directinjection turbocharged engine (bound for Australia) 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 fulllength 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, 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 new 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 coming is a five-door Cerato with an updated grille, alloy wheels and centre console, as well as three petrol engines – a 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre or 2.4-litre – and six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
The 1.6 and 2.0-litre engines are more likely for Australia when the new hatch is launched in October.
SIMPLY ELEGANT: Kia’s