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New York show: Kia sketches its new Optima

Optimum: Kia’s new-generation Optima is set to get a low roof line and more muscular lines.

Next Kia Optima goes all coupe like in sketches revealed ahead of Big Apple show


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19 Mar 2015

KIA has released sketches of its upcoming new Optima mid-size sedan, revealing a swoopy coupe-style exterior design and a smart front face that is largely faithful to the Sportspace wagon concept shown at the recent Geneva motor show.

To be revealed in the flesh at the New York motor show on April 1, the all-new Euro-style Optima sedan is expected to arrive in Australian showrooms late this year.

In a brief press release accompanying the images, the South Korean company described the new Optima as “a passionately designed and obsessively crafted all-new version of its popular mid-size sedan”.

Apart from the sporty new look, the Optima will employ a selection of new powertrains, including a new turbo-petrol engine and 1.7-litre diesel/electric hybrid alternative.

The latest petrol engine is a certainty for Australia, but the jury is still out at Kia on whether the hybrid will make it here.

Kia Motors Australia is keen on the hybrid, but the chances of it being available are said to be slipping.

As the Sportspace concept showed at Geneva, a wagon version is also in the pipeline and also a chance for Australian release.

Kia insiders caution that concept sketches frequently are a bit stylised compared with the in-the-metal car, but the real vehicle still will have all the features shown in the front and rear images released in the United States today.

These include the latest evolution of Kia design chief and president Peter Schreyer’s trademark “tiger nose” grille, along with sports touches such as side vents, front splitter and the latest LED lighting arrangements.

Mr Schreyer promised an evolutionary design for the new-generation Optima, saying his company could not make major changes every time.

Although the design is an evolution of the current model that was launched in 2010, it appears sharper than before, with a low-slung roof, high belt line and raised boot deck that ends in a sharp edge.

What appear to be driving lights in the form of a trio of LEDs are mounted within the lower air opening, echoing the big chrome-tipped twin exhaust pipes are the rear.

The flanks of the car are smooth and rounded, without any the sculpting of rival vehicles.

Kia sold 1274 Optimas in Australia last year, down 30 per cent on 2013. It is Kia’s sixth-best-selling model in this country, behind vehicles such as the Rio, Cerato, Sportage and Sorrento.

In the US, the car has been Kia’s top-selling model for the past three years.

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