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Future models - Kia - Optima

Kia’s new emperor

Halo effect: Kia hopes the Optima premium model will boost its brand image.

Kia has local large cars in its sights with upscale sedan

25 Oct 2010

BOLD new styling, a direct-injection petrol engine and premium features are the notable features of Kia’s new D-segment car, the Optima, which will go on sale here in January.

Shown at the Australian International Motor Show, the Optima will be powered by a 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine code-named Nu and announced at the recent Paris show.

17 center imageThe engine has Continuously Variable Valve Lift (CVVL), a two-stage variable induction system, an electronic throttle body and an off-set crank to improve performance and economy.

The Nu powerplant develops 125kW of power at 6200rpm and 196Nm of torque at 4300rpm, and will be mated in the Optima with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Tony Barlow said that, while the line-up has not yet been locked down, the new Optima will initially be sold as a premium model that will not sell in large volumes but rather help to enhance the brand’s image and become the premier model in the Kia range.

“That D segment is not the most expansive market,” said Mr Barlow. “It’s very dominated by the local manufacturers, but (Optima) would be a great image leader for us.

Optima replaces Magentis, which Kia pulled from the market last year after sales dropped from 742 in 2007 to 461 in 2008.

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