Created by Kia design teams in Korea, the USA and Germany, the new Optima will become Kia’s flagship mid-size executive car, envisioned as a high volume product designed to achieve stronger market penetration for Kia. Optima production plans foresee that annual output will reach 61,000 units by the end of this year.
Automotive industry analysts predict that world-wide overall D-Segment sales will remain static over the next few years at around 7% of total global car sales, even though some regions will see the segment shrink. Although demand in the UAE is expected to vary, Kia is determined to maintain or grow its segment share.
With clean, crisp modern styling and excellent dynamics, the new Optima will provide customers with comfortable, spacious and refined transport in an elegantly understated all-new car.
“New Optima continues the recent Kia tradition of introducing new models which are attractively styled, comfortably appointed, technically sophisticated and thoroughly modern,” enthused Mr. Kevin Chung, President of Kia Motors Middle East and African operations.
“It marks a big step forward for our D-Segment model and I assure both existing and new Kia customers that the new Optima will fully demonstrate our ‘Exciting & Enabling’ brand aspirations, as well as our ‘Power to Surprise’ brand promise. While we are enhancing all aspects of our new products, we are also retaining the brand’s strong allegiance to offering customers maximum ownership benefits.’
“Incorporating a host of significant improvements in every category – design, comfort, performance, quality and safety – the new Optima will certainly have great appeal to customers in the UAE,” said Mr. Samir Tayeh, General Manager, Al Majid Motors.
For Kia, the new Optima will be a highly competitive entry into a significant segment of the UAE market and the new model line-up will feature a total of six derivatives.
Taller 1480 mm (+70 mm), wider 1805 mm (+15 mm) – excluding the old model’s protruding door handles – and longer (+5 mm) than the model it replaces, the new Optima has a longer wheelbase 2720 mm (+20 mm) and reduced front overhang 935 mm (-25 mm) to create much improved packaging which offers significantly more cabin space than its predecessor, together with an enlarged trunk.
Depending on the model selected, customers can choose from two trim levels (LX and EX) and two gasoline engines (2.7 and 2.0 litres) with manual or automatic transmissions, and an extensive range of optional equipment.
Kia’s range-topping Optima EX model can be ordered with a powerful, responsive, comprehensively upgraded quad-cam 2.7-litre V6 ‘Mu’ CVVT petrol engine. The latest version of Kia’s all-aluminum Delta engine generates 188 ps and 247 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm and twin exhaust tailpipes distinguish this model from its stable mates.
Available in both LX and EX Optima models, the all-new ‘Theta’ 2.0-litre petrol engine is an impressively quiet, economical and powerful state-of-the-art four-cylinder powerplant. The Theta engine features continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and produces 145 ps at 6,000 rpm and 189 Nm of torque at 4,250 rpm.
The 2.7-litre V6 is mated to a new five-speed automatic gearbox as standard, fitted with Kia’s Sport Mode system, to offer drivers a choice of fully-automatic gear changes or driver-controlled sequential manual gear selection.
Aerodynamically, the New Optima is highly efficient. As well as the overall proportions, close attention to detailing has paid dividends. The shaping of the entire nose, door mirrors, A-Pillars and upper door frames, plus tight panel fit, have resulted in a drag coefficient of just Cd 0.32, compared with 0.34 for the previous model – a shorter, narrower and lower car with a significantly smaller frontal area.
Detailed improvements for New Optima include a specially shaped lower lip on the front bumper, a full cover beneath the engine bay and under floor airflow deflectors ahead of the fuel tank.
The 2.7-litre V6 Mu engine is mated to a new five-speed A5GF1 automatic gearbox as standard, with no manual option. This transmission delivers even smoother gear shifting and improved fuel economy (up to 4% better) compared to its forerunner.
The 2.0-litre engines can be ordered with a four-speed automatic transmission (F4A42) specifically developed and tested for the Optima, as an extra-cost option.
All Optima automatic transmissions feature an electronic controller, which monitors a range of parameters including acceleration, deceleration, engine speed and road speed, ensures safe gear changes with excellent shift quality, and also adapts the transmission’s characteristics to suit an individual’s driving style.
Fitted with Kia’s Sport Mode system, these automatics offer drivers a choice of fully-automatic gear changes (ideal for town driving) or driver-controlled sequential manual gear selection for a sportier response and greater involvement when motoring in the countryside. In both transmissions, higher top gear ratios – 0.728 (five-speed) and 0.712 (petrol, four-speed) – reduce fuel consumption when cruising at motorway speeds.
As standard, the Optima 2.0-litre petrol engine is fitted with a five-speed M5GF1 manual gearbox, designed at Kia’s Power-Train facility at the Namyang R&D Centre, that thrifty drivers will greatly appreciate.
“We designed the new Optima to meet or surpass the rising expectations of Kia customers. With greatly improved quality and a clean, simple, fresher appearance, we have created a superb executive sedan that is more stylish, more practical and more enjoyable to drive than its predecessor,” concluded Mr. Chung.
Thursday, May 18- 2006 @ 12:21 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.