Kia’s eyeing up Optimal performance
APERFORMANCE version of Kia’s Optima estate is being introduced and it uses an engine derived from that in the Stinger grand tourer. The new Optima Sportswagon GT will be the flagship of a new Optima line-up from Kia – and the only one powered purely by a petrol engine.
The others will use Kia’s new 1.6-litre diesel which is claimed to be good for 62.8mpg while the plug-in petrol-electric powertrain remains an alternative.
Prices for the new range start from £22,260 – an increase of some £800 – for an Optima saloon while the Sportswagon costs from £23,100.
The new GT is priced from £33,350 and is powered by a 241bhp derivative of Kia’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
It’s not quite as quick as the Stinger but with a 0 to 60 time of 7.3 seconds and a top end of 144mph it is the quickest Optima to date.
Moreover, it comes with an electronically controlled suspension and uprated steering and brakes for sporty handling.
There’s also an electronic sound system which relays the engine note into the cabin for some added thrills.
Like the Stinger, the Optima Sportswagon GT has been developed under the guidance of Kia’s head of high performance cars Albert Biermann and tested to the limits on Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit.
As well as its sporty dynamics the new GT comes fully kitted with an eight-inch touchscreen sat nav system, automatic parking, full smartphone compatibility and a wireless phone charger.
With a ride height lowered by around half-an-inch, the car sits on 18-inch alloys and comes with restyled LED fog lamps, black mirror caps, side sills and grille.
At the rear the GT has twin exhaust outlets while inside there’s red leather sports seats, a D-shaped steering wheel and a revised instrument cluster which can show turbo boost and torque output.
Fuel consumption is rated at 30.7mpg with emissions of 211g/km.
The GT model is available only as an estate and is coming on stream as Kia gives the Optima a rework introducing new technology as well as subtle style changes and the new diesel engine to the other models.
All versions will come with a driver fatigue monitor while automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance and full LED headlamps are also available.
Top grade Gt-line S models, priced from £31,400 and again only available as a Sportswagon, will feature added equipment such as an all-round camera system, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitors.
The new engine – which replaces the previous 1.7-litre diesel – complies with the latest European emission regulations and uses a selective catalytic reduction system.
Carbon emissions for the saloon are 117g/km for a six speed manual which equates to 62.8mpg while the estate is rated at 121g/km and 61.4mpg. Kia says its new Optima will be the quickest yet.
A seven-speed dual clutch transmission is available priced from £25,700 for the saloon and £1,000 more for the estate and those are rated at 117 and 122g/km respectively.
Performance figures for the manual saloon are 0 to 60 in 10.6 seconds with a maximum of 122mph and 10.8 seconds for the estate which tops out at 121mph. DCT models are marginally slower at 11.2 0 to 60 for the saloon and 11.4 seconds for the Sportswagon.