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New York show: Kia's Optima fronts up

Saving face: While the Optima is yet to be revealed in full, the image of the front end shows that Kia has kept a similar feel for its new mid-sizer.

Fourth-gen Kia Optima partially revealed with evolutionary styling

27 Mar 2015

KIA has lifted the lid on its fourth-generation Optima mid-sizer, just a week out from its official debut at the New York motor show.

Revealed in a single front-on image, the 2015 Optima features an evolutionary design, with a similar headlight treatment to the current model, but with a narrower, more integrated version of the now familiar 'tiger nose' grille introduced by Kia's chief design officer, Peter Schreyer.

It carries a new front bumper with repositioned lower air intakes and a bonnet that carries more subtle character lines than the outgoing version.

The front-end styling was previewed by the striking Sportspace wagon concept that made its debut at this month's Geneva motor show, as well as a pair of sketches released last week, however the production version has unsurprisingly been toned down to appeal to a broader audience.

As predicted by GoAuto in October last year, a wagon version of the Optima is expected for markets such as Europe and, potentially, Australia, but it is unclear if this will also appear in production guise at New York given the American markets love of sedans and SUVs.

The South Korean car-maker is keeping quiet on powertrain and specification details for its new Optima, but it said in a statement that it would offer “a more spacious interior, class-up premium features and a number of technologies not previously offered on Kia's best-selling mid-size sedan”.

As reported earlier this month, the Optima is expected to gain a number of new powertrains, including a diesel-electric hybrid, however Kia Motors Australia is yet to confirm the electrified version for this market.

Kia Motors president and design chief Peter Schreyer told Australian media at last year's Paris motor show that the new-gen Optima's styling would follow on from the sleek third-gen version that has won praise for its head-turning design.

“I think the Optima is a very strong car and so with the next Optima I think we should be kind of careful and true to what we have done and not disappoint the customer with something completely different where they say ‘what have they done now?’,” he said last year.

“The question that we can’t always make such big steps. The next Optima will be closer to the current Optima than the current Optima was to the one before.” Kia chose the 2010 New York motor show to reveal the third-generation Optima that introduced Peter Schreyer's design aesthetic to the Korean brand.

The Optima is set to arrive in Australian Kia showrooms before the end of the year.

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