Published on April 2nd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
All-new Kia Optima breaks covers at New York International Auto Show
Following on from the teaser that was put up late last month, the new Kia Optima has been unveiled at the New York International Auto Show. From the front end it’s hard to distinguish it from the generation it replaces, thanks to the strong design language that has become synonymous with Kia’s model lineup over the past half decade or so. But the rear end s where large steps have been made with this generation. We see sleeker tail lamps that stretch along the side, as well as a more 3-dimensional design with curves that contrast the flat-edged design of it’s predecessor. Bit by bit, the Optima is shedding it”s “budget-friendly” look and adopting a more premium image.
Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. The interior maintains a sombre look with it’s all-dark colour scheme, although you can see where Schreyer’s influences are as it is slowly starting to become Audi-esque, from the layout of the switchgear to the gear knob itself.
The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car.
All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand.