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Kia Optima Hybrid looking for record low fuel consumption (copyright image)

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26th August, 2011

Two American motorists are setting off today (local time) to drive a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records. They aim to set a new record for lowest fuel consumption (in a petrol hybrid car) while driving through all 48 continental states of America.

Taking on the epic 8,000 mile fuel economy driving challenge will be experienced fuel economy driver Wayne Gerdes (pictured) and his friend Chris Bernius, who will be completing the journey in a standard Kia Optima Hybrid four-door sedan.

The record attempt will see the drivers depart from Kia Motors’ manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia (USA). Travelling in a clockwise direction, they will make it into 48 states before finishing in South Carolina just 16 days later, on 10th September.

Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said, “Fuel economy is becoming increasingly important to car buyers all around the world, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is one of our latest models to address this consumer requirement.”

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“Driving through all 48 adjoining US states is the ultimate ‘real-world’ challenge, but the Kia Optima Hybrid gives the drivers the very best chance of setting a new Guinness World Record, as it has been specifically designed to achieve maximum fuel economy in all driving conditions, not just in the city,” Oh continued.

The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first hybrid vehicle in the U.S. market and went on sale in East- and West-coast regions in June 2011, with national availability due by the end of 2011. A European version – which matches the electric motor to a smaller, 2.0 litre petrol engine – is expected to go on sale in some markets in 2012.

The 2.4 litre Optima Hybrid employs a unique and innovative parallel petrol-electric hybrid powertrain developed by Kia that delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, a top speed of 195 km/h (121 mph), plus highly-competitive fuel economy equivalent to a 40.7 per cent fuel consumption improvement over the standard Optima EX model in the USA.


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