Kia Motors debuts All-new Optima at New York International Auto Show

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  • Midsize sedan offers new levels of style and performance features from Kia
  • Five all-new powertrains including, for North America, a turbo and Kia’s first-ever hybrid
  • Fresh design from the ground up embodies bold, athletic and sporty visual dynamism
  • Leading levels of premium amenities and technology features
  • New Forte 5-door also has its world reveal at New York show

(SEOUL) April 1, 2010 – Kia Motors Corporation today held the world premiere of its all-new Optima midsize sedan at the New York International Auto Show.

Arriving in showrooms in North America and non-European markets in the final quarter of this year and Europe next Spring, the next generation Optima continues Kia’s design-led transformation, while revealing a completely new and stunning design language for Kia, highlighted by a dynamic and streamlined profile that conveys elegance and athletic confidence from every angle.

Optima’s groundbreaking spirit continues under the hood and inside the cabin with the introduction of five new powertrains, which deliver class-leading power (in North America) with highly competitive fuel economy – and the brand’s first-ever hybrid for North America (available in early 2011).

Designed at Kia’s studios in Frankfurt and Irvine, California, the all-new Optima is longer, wider and lower than the vehicle it replaces and is based on an all-new midsize platform that allowed for distinctive dimensions and proportions while also providing a unique canvas for Kia’s global design team to pen a vehicle that stands apart from everything else in its segment.

“The all-new Optima is a new strand in Kia’s growing design DNA with 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,” said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors Corporation.

“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 all-new Optima also employs engine management systems like direct injection, multi-point injection and turbocharging to help bring performance to the brand without sacrificing fuel efficiency. Its smooth-flowing lines speak of grace and style and offer a strong hint of European luxury.

Sleek and Streamlined Exterior

The all-new Optima projects a high-performance yet elegant image with its unique silhouette and sleek stance that builds upon Kia Motors’ philosophy of creating high quality and dynamic vehicles that evoke passion.

The striking face of Optima features Kia’s signature bold tabbed grille that is surrounded by projector headlamps. Longer, wider and lower than before, Optima’s coupe-like profile is enhanced by a sweeping chrome arc that flows from the A through C pillars, a distinctive design motif that visually lowers the car further and enhances its proportions. Optima’s roofline connects with its high and pronounced shoulder line that leads to its sculpted flanks and extended wheelbase.

Boldly flared wheel arches and a raked cabin create a sedan with a graceful muscular stance.

The all-new Optima offers numerous standard features including dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, outside mirror turn signal indicators and 16-inch steel wheels fitted with 205/65R16 tires.

Also available, depending on the trim level, are fog lights, heated outside mirrors, exterior chrome/body-color door handles along with 17-inch alloy wheels with P215/55/R17 tires. Higher trim levels add HID headlights with auto leveling, LED rear combination lights, unique front grille design, rear lip spoiler, sculpted side sills, aero wiper blades, red brake calipers and 18-inch black machined finish alloy wheels furnished with P225/45R18 tires, achieving a true performance look.

Luxuriously Equipped Interior

From the moment the door opens, Optima presents an immediate sense of a driver’s car. The instrument panel is contoured toward the driver to suggest a cockpit feel with precise gauges and controls for an overall sport performance experience without sacrificing comfort or roominess.

Paddle shifters, standard on automatic versions outside North America, behind the steering wheel convey that Optima is built for people who are passionate about cars. A high console with a short shifter adds to the cockpit perception while an available panoramic sunroof provides an open-air feeling.

Offering occupants both space and comfort with a number of standard convenience features, the sedan’s chic cabin unifies with the exterior design by welcoming its passengers with lean and ergonomic seat design and effective storage throughout. Modern standard features such as six-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, illuminated vanity mirrors and a trip computer further expand the cabin’s luxurious qualities.

In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system – with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities in North America with three months complimentary service.

Also available are auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players and available Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones, a feature which is standard in North America.

Interior comfort and convenience is enhanced with available features that include a tilt/telescopic steering column, power door locks, power windows, sun visor extension and an air-conditioned glove box.

Stylishly appointed cloth seats provide comfortable seating while a 60/40 split-folding rear seat offers multiple seating and cargo arrangements depending on driver and passenger needs. Automatic transmission-equipped Optima, in markets outside North America, feature cruise control (standard in US on SX trim only) and Kia’s Active Eco System indicator for optimal fuel efficient driving (known as EcoMinder® in North America).

Other available premium features include push button-start ignition with smart key, dual-zone automatic air conditioning with rear vents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, auto light control, driver and front passenger automatic window up/down and eight-way power driver’s seat, lighted glovebox, rear reading lamps and chrome door handles. In North America, the UVO powered by Microsoft® infotainment system with rear-view camera and an auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink® and compass are available.

Depending on the trim level, Optima also offers available unique black leather woven seat trim, black interior trim with carbon insert film and metal accent, Supervision™ meter cluster with LCD display, center fascia and meter housing, soft trim with French seams, metal pedals and lighted metal door scuff plates.

Available upgrades include a power panoramic sunroof, leather seat trim, memory driver’s seat, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel for additional interior refinement.

Luxuriously appointed features include, for North America, an Infinity® 5.1 surround sound audio system with HD Radio® and for Europe and other markets, a Dimension audio system, each with eight speakers. For North America and Europe, a voice-activated navigation system with a seven-inch screen, combines with these functions to enhance the cabin for audiophiles or those who seek the latest superior quality technology for a modern driving experience.

All-New Advanced Platform

The new Optima is distinctive, right down to its all-new platform. Optima’s low, lean and powerful stance is assisted through its overall length of 4845 mm (190.7 inches), an increase of 45 mm over the previous model. Optima is built on a platform with an overall width of 1830 mm (72.0 inches) and wheelbase of 2795 mm (110.0 inches), an increase of 75 mm, and has a low ground clearance of 135 mm (5.3 inches) for enhanced aerodynamics.

Optima’s lightweight design uses high-tensile-strength steel to enhance structural strength while also achieving high torsional stiffness, benefiting handling, ride quality and refinement. Additional measures to help ensure good noise vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities are fitted throughout the Optima.

Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel-drive Optima utilizes independent front and rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts are used in the front with a multi-link layout in the rear and are both joined with coil springs and front anti-roll bars to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide the utmost comfort whether the road is smooth or less than ideal.

Class-Leading Efficient and Powerful Engines

The new Optima will be available with three all-new and fuel-efficient Theta II powerplants, a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine or a 2.4-liter hybrid. The 2.4-liter GDI engine produces 203 PS and upgrading to the available 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine delivers V6-type power from a four-cylinder engine that produces 278 PS, while mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This represents Kia’s first application of GDI technology, while a 2.4-liter hybrid Optima will be introduced in 2011.

For Europe, there will be an available 2.0 liter CVVL engine along with a 1.7-liter VGT diesel unit. Outside Europe and North America, Optima offers a 2.0 liter MPI engine producing 165 PS and a 2.4 liter MPI engine producing 178 PS, while Australia will also receive the 2.4 liter GDI engine.

All transmissions on the new Optima, both manual and automatic, have six speeds while all automatics feature Sportmatic ™ clutchless shifting.

Safety-Minded

The new Optima has a high level of safety features, as does the rest of the Kia line-up. This includes six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and, available in North America and Europe, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a Brake Assist System (BAS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC) are also available as standard or option depending on market.

Kia debuts Forte five-door in New York

Also making its world premiere in New York is the Forte (‘Cerato’ in some markets) five-door. Keeping in line with the stylish and practical Forte compact sedan and first-for-Kia Forte Koup, the Forte five-door adds another attractive option to the Forte family.

Forte five-door builds on the popular Forte compact sedan and bold Forte Koup by employing another practical yet modern iteration of the platform.  Lower and firmly set on its haunches, Forte five-door carries with it all the amenities of the Forte line and introduces a new front grille, alloy wheels, lower valence design, center console, paddle shifters, push-button start (already available in Forte line-up outside of North America) and navigation (available in North America only) in addition to the enhanced practicality of a fifth door for a distinct appearance and intentional practicality.

Depending on country, Forte five-door is available with three efficient gasoline engines – 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter – and a new six-speed manual or automatic transmission. North American consumers will have a choice of the 2.0 and 2.4-liter engines while customers outside of North America will be able to choose from the 1.6 and 2.0-liter powerplants.

All-new Kia Optima Specifications

Exterior Dimensions

  • Overall Length:  4845 mm (190.7 inches)
  • Width:  1830 mm (72.0 inches)
  • Height:  1455 mm (57.3 inches)
  • Wheel base:  2795mm (110.0 inches)

Interior Dimensions

  • Front Headroom:  1015 mm (40.0 inches)
  • Rear Headroom: 955mm (37.6 inches)
  • Front Legroom: 1155mm (45.5 inches)
  • Rear Legroom: 880 mm (34.6 inches)

Powertrain North America

  • 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder: 203 ps
  • 2.0-liter GDI turbo four-cylinder: 278 ps
  • 2.4-liter hybrid (early 2011 availability)

Europe

  • 2.0-liter CVVL: tbc
  • 1.7-liter VGT: tbc

Other overseas markets

  • 2.0-liter MPI: 165 ps
  • 2.4-liter MPI: 178 ps
  • 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder: 201 ps* (Australia only)

Transmission

  • 6-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Automatic w/ Sportmatic® shifting

Wheels & Tires

  • Wheels:  16-inch, 17-inch, 18-inch
  • Tires:  205/65R16, P215/55R17, 225/45R18