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Kia's new Optima released

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15th November, 2015

  • Refined new interior - higher quality materials
  • More space for every occupant in new cabin
  • 50% stronger bodyshell
  • a range of new active safety technologies
  • Smooth ride and more agile handling
  • New high-powered GT model with 2.0-litre Turbo-GDI engine
  • New technologies include wireless phone charging

Kia’s Optima, the mid-sized car that stunned the motoring world with it’s big-dollar looks and mainstream pricing in its third generation five years ago, has taken another step forward with the arrival of the all-new fourth generation.

The new Optima was revealed to the world at the 2015 New York Motor Show earlier this year.

“As good as the third generation Optima is, the new car is going to truly lift the bar on what Kia brings to the table for a family sedan,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith said. “By any demonstrable measure this is a giant step forward for the Optima.”

Mr Meredith pointed to improved safety, convenience, technology, ride and handling and quality as some of the key areas in which the new Optima has been improved.

“As soon as you sit in this car you notice the difference - the richer feel of the materials, the tighter construction tolerances and the user-friendly environment that is the cabin.”

“And then you start the car. For the first time in a Kia sedan, Australian buyers can enjoy the extra performance and enjoyment of a smooth and powerful turbocharged petrol engine.”

“We see the new Optima with the full package excitement of performance, styling and luxury  - coupled to an unbeatable 7-Year Warranty, 7-Year Capped Price Servicing and 7-Year Roadside Assist - as an offering Australian buyers have never previously had access to.”

The all-new Kia Optima will launch in Australia with two clearly delineated specifications - the proven 2.4-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder (138kW and 241Nm) in the Si and the GT with a new all-aluminium T-GDI 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. Boasting 180kW and 350Nm, the T-GDI features a high-efficiency twin-scroll turbocharger, high pressure fuel pump, dual continuously variable valve timing technology and laser-drilled injectors for the best possible balance between engine performance and efficiency.

The front-wheel drive Optima features Kia’s in-house six-speed automatic transmission.

With a modern exterior, a bold interior design with more space for all occupants, and an array of new technologies while retaining many of the classic styling lines and the sporty image that has helped the Optima become one of Kia’s best-selling models worldwide, the latest generation of the car offers greater refinement, improved ride and handling and higher quality over the outgoing model.

The Kia Optima plays an important role in the Kia Motors product line-up, introducing the brand to an increasing number of new customers. Since the third-generation model launched in 2010, with its distinctive look, high quality interior and high-tech image, the Optima has offered buyers something fresh and different in the D-segment.

It acted as the catalyst for the five-year, design-led transformation of Kia’s product range, with a combination of technology, design and refinement changing the way people saw the Kia brand.

Improvements to every aspect of the new car will make the all-new Optima an even more compelling proposition to buyers - both private and fleet - in a segment that is forecast to expand by 6.4% to 5.76 million units globally in 2016.

Evolutionary design keeps all-new Optima at the cutting edge

The exterior styling of the all-new Optima was a question of balance for Kia’s global design teams. The all-new Optima maintains the athletic identity that made it so popular, while making a confident leap forward to attract car buyers looking for something different.

Conceived under the watchful eye of Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors, the all-new Optima offers more road presence than ever, with its contemporary surface detailing, sharp body lines and creases, and a more elongated sedan silhouette.

The evolutionary new look was designed to be functional and sporty, with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended by 10 mm to 2,805 mm, with the full vehicle length growing 10 mm to 4,855 mm. Meanwhile the new model is 25 mm wider, at 1,860 mm, and 10 mm taller (1,465 mm).

These changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin, with more head-, shoulder- and rear-seat leg-room and greater cargo capacity. From a styling perspective, the new dimensions afforded Kia’s designers the chance to introduce a more swept-back, dynamic shape.

Instantly recognisable as a Kia, the all-new Optima integrates the brand’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille with the longer, wider, wrap-around headlamps, pulled taut over the blistered wheel arches. The bumper swells into bold right angles around the front fog lamps, adding greater volume to the lower part of the ‘face’ and giving the car a more stable, wider look.

In profile, the glass area maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that define the Optima’s sports-sedan appearance, with the rear quarter light kicking up smartly as the shoulder line extends towards the raised boot lid. The shoulder line itself is an extension of the parallel followed by the front headlamps, forming a clean, straight light that connects front and rear. The deeply-sculptured body panels of the doors curve fluently into slightly extended side sills, again increasing the visual weight around the skirt of the Optima.

The LED tail lamps on the GT model wrap around the corners of the rear and give the car a fresh and modern light signature. The athletic appearance of the car is boosted by a rising, spoiler-shaped boot lid and an expansive rear bumper which houses a sporty-looking air diffuser (GT) and oval exhaust.

This attractive new design makes the fourth-generation model the most aerodynamic Optima to date, with drag reduced from 0.358 to 0.353 Cd. The all-new Optima will be available in a choice of seven paint colors, and will ride on either 17-inch (Si) or 18-inch (GT) alloy wheels shod with 215/55 R17 Continental ContiPremiumContact5 rubber on the naturally aspirated model or performance-rated 235/45 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 for the GT turbo. Both models have a full-size spare.

The new turbo GT model – boasting higher power and a sportier drive than the standard Optima range – features a more purposeful look, in line with its dynamic intent. Differences include a bolder, more aggressive front bumper design; black high gloss side sills; a subtle rear air diffuser with integrated dual tailpipes and special GT badging.

Refined new interior with more modern design and higher quality

Drawing inspiration from Kia’s global range of models, the all-new Optima boasts a more luxurious, driver-focused interior than ever before, with a range of features and technologies available which are typically associated with the class above. The new cabin is crafted with an obsessive attention to detail, and represents the biggest step forward for the new model.

Kia’s design team focused on delivering a thoroughly modern interior look and feel, with the cabin offering a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation. The dashboard is spread along a more horizontal plane and a wider central console, providing a greater sense of spaciousness.

The material quality of the all-new Optima’s cabin is significantly improved over the outgoing model, with a far higher proportion of soft-touch materials, as well as cloth and leather appointed in natural tones. Tasteful metallic accents throughout the cabin add a higher quality ambience to the interior, while greater application of soundproofing ensures refinement is better than ever.

The dashboard is divided into an upper ‘display’ zone and a lower ‘control’ zone, ensuring drivers need never take their eyes off the road in order to see the key information displayed. The central fascia is angled 8.5 degrees towards the driver, with the upper ‘display’ zone housing a new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system (7.0-inch for Si) and lower ‘control’ zone offering fewer buttons than the outgoing Optima to manage the various cabin functions that aren’t already built into the touchscreen.

The console is finished in a choice of materials, including metallic paint, gloss black and aluminium, with a dash of chrome running the length of the dashboard, dividing the display and control zones. The Si trim models will feature a single-tone black cloth interior while GT buyers can enjoy a black leather appointed interior with red stitching or specify a red leather appointed interior with grey stitching (available only on Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black and Platinum Graphite exteriors). All turbo GT models will have the GT logo stitched into the back of the seats and a GT badge on the steering wheel.

More space for every passenger in refined new cabin

The larger interior and exterior dimensions of the fourth-generation Optima ensure that the all-new model is the most practical, spacious and comfortable yet.

With the 10 mm growth in the wheelbase of the all-new Optima, and reshaped seats, rear passengers now enjoy 25 mm more legroom. The wider body yields more shoulder room for all occupants (20 mm and 17 mm extra in front and rear), while the longer, higher roof results in greater headroom throughout the cabin (+5 mm and +15 mm front and rear).

In reshaping the front and rear seats, the interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. Stiffer seat frames reduce the level of vibrations through the seats while improving seat durability and reducing the weight of each seat by 2.6 kg, while softer foam in the head restraints, upper back and under-thigh supports allows occupants to nestle into the seats more comfortably. In the front, deeper side bolsters are made up of denser, more supportive foam.

Rear passengers in the GT also get pull-up sun shades built into the rear door trim to cut out bright light.

Cargo space in the all-new Optima has grown from 505 to 510 litres VDA (450 litres SAE), with a wider boot opening adding greater practicality.

50% stronger bodyshell and new active safety technologies

The all-new Optima features a uniquely engineered body which combines more high-strength materials than ever before, resulting in even higher standards of crash safety. While passive safety is improved, the new model is also equipped with a series of high-tech active and autonomous safety features, and Kia’s engineers have targeted the highest possible global safety ratings throughout the Optima’s development programme, including five-star Euro NCAP and US NHTSA safety ratings, as well as Top Safety Pick Plus status from the USA’s IIHS.

The bodyshell of the all-new Optima is stronger than ever thanks to the more extensive use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). More than 50 per cent of the body is now made up of AAHS – representing a 150% increase over that of the previous car (20%) – and boasts a 450% increase in the amount of structural adhesive used. The result is that torsional rigidity has been improved by 50% over the model that it replaces, while the body shell is also 8.6 kg lighter.

The higher-strength steel alloys have been applied to reinforce the A and B-pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead, boosting the all-round structural integrity of the body.

Passive safety is uncompromised for occupants with six airbags standard - driver, passenger, two front side and two curtain airbags.

The all-new Optima is designed to be a strong performer in global safety tests thanks to its suite of new technologies designed to avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision.

Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) is fitted as standard, ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering if it detects a loss of traction.

The all-new Kia Optima is available with a wide range of active hazard-avoidance technologies, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), which automatically adjusts the Optima’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front; Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) which employs a forward-facing camera to detect the car’s position within a lane, alerting the driver if they stray over the lines without indicating; High Beam Assist (HBA), which automatically adjusts headlamp range according to other vehicles and road conditions; Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) which will detect a vehicle in front slowing and automatically apply the brakes to avoid a collision; Blind Spot Detection (BSD), with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the driver’s blind spot (GT only); Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which warns against other cars driving behind the Optima in car parks while reversing (GT only).

Greater overall refinement as development teams reduce NVH

Reinforcing the need to provide a calm and relaxing driving environment, the all-new Optima boasts greater refinement than ever before, with considerable efforts made by development teams to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

Some of the most important innovations to reduce NVH include a larger under-floor cover and more effective windshield seals, each of which help to reduce wind noise by 2% while aiding aerodynamics and, ultimately, fuel efficiency. Increased dashboard insulation helps to reduce the level of engine noise in the cabin by around 4%, aided by general improvements to the acoustic refinement of most engines in the range.

Larger cross-member bushings, front and rear, also isolate road noise, while reducing the level of vibration through the floor and steering wheel.

The new body, with the increased application of high-strength steel alloys, plays a major part in raising refinement levels. With a more rigid frame and stiffer body panels and engine mounts, the Optima successfully reduces the level of vibration through the cabin.

Eighty-three per cent stiffer alloy wheels further cut vibrations resulting from contact with poor road surfaces. In turn, the stiffer body and wheels have enabled Kia engineers to make subtle changes to the car’s suspension geometry to further isolate vibrations and road noise without compromising the car’s dynamic abilities.

Smoother ride, more agile handling, and optional electronic suspension system

Improving ride and handling was a top priority for Kia’s dynamic development teams, with a focus on delivering the ride comfort and stability that customers expect from a medium sedan, while achieving the level of agility promised by the car’s sportier appearance.

Kia Motors Australia’s ride and handling team was able to utilise the lighter, stiffer chassis, to optimise the suspension’s ability to isolate vibrations and bumps from poor road surfaces, while a series of upgrades to the suspension set-up helps to blend agile handling with an improvement in ride comfort.

With fully-independent suspension all-round, Kia’s engineers have moved the front and rear subframe mounting points further out towards the edge of the vehicle for a smoother ride over uneven surfaces.

The front suspension has been upgraded from two bushing mounts to four to increase lateral stiffness, with more robust wheel bearings completing the front suspension changes. The result is improved responses to steering inputs and greater traction around corners, while further reducing the time it takes for the suspension to settle after a more significant jolt in the road.

At the rear, the all-new Optima receives larger dual lower arms - the previous generation Optima’s suspension was connected to the chassis with single links on each side - mounted with thicker, more absorbent bushings.

Further defining the Optima’s ride and handling characteristics, these changes have helped engineers achieve greater stability for the all-new model, and improved bump absorption. These upgrades are aided in part by the small increase to the all-new Optima’s wheelbase.

The turbo GT models are fitted with high performance dampers to further enhance ride and handling, with more immediate handling responses and a slightly firmer, sportier ride.

Optima is now fitted as standard with a column-mounted electric motor-driven power steering system (C-MDPS), upgraded in the new model to offer greater steering feel and more incisive turn-in.

For the turbo GT the bar is lifted with a new rack-mounted power steering system (R-MDPS). Mounted directly on the steering rack, rather than on the column, the new R-MDPS provides greater steering feel and quicker, more linear responses to driver inputs, particularly around the centre. This upgrade to the steering results in sharper handling characteristics, placing it among the most agile cars in the medium segment.

Touchscreen infotainment and wireless phone charging among new technologies

The all-new Optima boasts a range of innovative on-board technologies to improve usability, comfort and convenience for D-segment customers.

For Australia the all-new Optima will come standard with the latest audio-visual navigation system with a 7-inch (Si) or 8-inch (GT) touchscreen infotainment and satellite navigation system, with rear parking camera and Bluetooth hands-free capability.

The touchscreen infotainment system is paired with a six-speaker audio system as standard for the Si while GT buyers will benefit from a powerful 590 watt Harman Kardon Premium Sound system, featuring 10 speakers, an external amplifier and Clari-Fi MP3 restoration technology. This new Harman Kardon surround sound system, with Quantum Logic technology, will allow music lovers to enjoy the cabin of their all-new Optima as if it were like their own mini-concert hall.

In a first for any car in the medium segment, the all-new Optima will be available with a wireless charger for mobile devices, allowing the new model to meet the increasing demand from car buyers for new convenience technologies.

Located at the base of the central console, the wireless charger lets users charge their phone on the move, without a wire connection.

With ‘foreign object detection’, the 5W charging system activates when a compatible device is placed on the pad, and warns car security-conscious owners when they’ve left a phone on the charger as they leave the vehicle. The system features a safety system to prevent overheating while in use.

The all-new Optima is available with two USB charging points, one in the front and one in the rear, to allow passengers to charge mobile devices on the move.

The Optima will also gain the hands-free boot opening function debuted on Carnival as well as a rear view camera in addition to front and rear parking sensors. For GT owners there will also be the active headlight system which tracks steering to sweep the road ahead for greater visibility and improved safety at night.

Optima will be offered in six premium paint colours - Gravity Blue (new), Platinum Graphite, Silky Silver, Aurora Black, Snow White Pearl and Temptation Red - as well as a non-premium Clear White. Premium paint is an additional $595* over the recommended manufacturer's list price.

Kia Optima Price* (MLP*)

Optima Si               $34,490*
Optima turbo GT      $43,990*


* Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.



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