Kia Motors America (KMA) today officially launched the all–new 2011 Optima midsize sedan, first seen during the 2010 New York International Auto Show. Set to arrive in retail showrooms in early fall, the next generation Optima continues Kia’s design–led transformation while revealing a completely new and stunning design language for Kia, highlighted by a dynamic and streamlined profile that conveys elegance and athletic confidence from every angle. Optima’s groundbreaking spirit continues under the hood and inside the cabin with the introduction of three new powertrains – including the brand’s first–ever hybrid in the U.S. (available in 2011) – which is expected to deliver an increase in power and fuel economy while offering the latest technology features and luxury amenities.
Designed at Kia’s studios in Frankfurt and Irvine, Calif., the all–new Optima is longer, wider and lower than the vehicle it replaces and is based on an all–new midsize platform that allowed for distinctive dimensions and proportions while also providing a unique canvas for Kia’s global design team to pen a vehicle that stands apart from everything else in that segment.
The all–new Optima also employs engine management systems like direct injection and turbocharging to help bring performance to the brand without sacrificing fuel efficiency. Its smooth–flowing lines speak of grace and style and offer a strong hint of European luxury.
Sleek and Streamlined Exterior
The 2011 Optima projects a high–performance yet elegant image with its unique silhouette and sleek stance that builds upon Kia Motors’ philosophy of creating high quality and dynamic vehicles that evoke passion. The striking face of Optima features Kia’s signature bold tabbed grille that is surrounded by projector headlamps. Longer, wider and lower than before, Optima’s coupe–like profile is enhanced by a sweeping chrome arc that flows from the A through C pillars, a distinctive design motif that visually lowers the car further and enhances its proportions. Optima’s roofline connects with its high and pronounced shoulder line that leads to its sculpted flanks and extended wheelbase. Boldly flared wheel arches and a raked cabin create a sedan with a graceful muscular stance.
Available in three trims, LX, EX and SX, the 2011 Optima offers numerous standard features. The LX includes dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, outside mirror turn signal indicators and 16–inch steel wheels fitted with 205/65R16 tires. Upgrading to the EX offers standard fog lights, heated outside mirrors, exterior chrome/body–color door handles along with 17–inch alloy wheels with P215/55/R17 tires, while the EX Turbo adds a unique front grille design. Moving up to the athletic SX adds HID headlights with auto leveling, LED rear combination lights, unique front grille design, rear lip spoiler, sculpted side sills, aero wiper blades, black front brake calipers and 18–inch black machined finish alloy wheels furnished with P225/45R18 tires, achieving a true performance look.
Luxuriously Equipped Interior
From the moment the door opens, Optima presents an immediate sense of a driver’s car. The instrument panel is contoured toward the driver to suggest a cockpit feel with precise gauges and controls for an overall sport performance experience without sacrificing comfort or roominess. Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel convey that Optima is built for people who are passionate about cars. A high console with a short shifter adds to the cockpit perception while an available panoramic sunroof provides an open–air feeling. Offering occupants both space and comfort with a number of standard convenience features, the sedan’s chic cabin unifies with the exterior design by welcoming its passengers with lean and ergonomic seat design and effective storage throughout. Modern standard features such as a six–way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, illuminated vanity mirrors with a ticket holder and a trip computer further expand the cabin’s luxurious qualities.
In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service. Also standard on all trims are auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players and Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel–mounted voice activation controls to enable hands–free operation for compatible mobile phones.
Additional standard interior features include a tilt/telescopic steering column, power door locks, power windows, sun visor extension and a cooling glove box. Stylishly appointed cloth seats provide comfortable seating while a 60/40 split–folding rear seat offers multiple seating and cargo arrangements depending on driver and passenger needs. Optima LX with automatic transmission features cruise control and an active system for optimal fuel efficient driving.
Optima EX comes well–equipped and offers premium standard features, including the UVO powered by Microsoft® hands–free in–car entertainment and communication system (expected to be available in select Kia models in the U.S. later this year) with rear–view camera, push button–start ignition with smart key, dual–zone automatic air conditioning with rear vents, a leather–wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, auto–dimming rear view mirror with Homelink® and compass, auto light control, driver and front passenger automatic window up/down and an eight–way power driver’s seat, illuminated glovebox, rear reading lamps, floor mats and chrome door handles. Moving to the EX Turbo also adds wood interior trim with metal accents for a more luxurious feel.
For consumers looking for even more sporty appeal, the Optima SX adds unique black leather woven seat trim, black interior trim with carbon insert film, Supervision meter cluster with LCD display, center fascia and meter housing, soft trim with French seams, steering wheel paddle shifters, metal pedals and lighted metal door scuff plates.
For those who seek the latest superior quality technology and convenience features for a modern and comfortable driving experience, the 2011 Optima offers a multitude of packages for each trim. The Convenience Package (LX A/T only), offers an eight–way power–adjustable driver’s seat and auto–dimming rear view mirror with Homelink®, while the LX Technology Package (with Convenience Package) adds the navigation system with back–up camera, an eight–speaker Infinity® premium audio system and dual–zone automatic temperature control with rear ventilation.
Moving to the already well–equipped EX trim consumers can opt for the Premium Package, which adds the panoramic sunroof with high–gloss B–pillar, four–way power–adjustable driver’s seat with driver’s seat memory, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wood interior trim and center console and metal–finished shifter. The EX Technology Package (with Premium Package) adds the navigation system with back–up camera and eight–speaker Infinity premium audio system.
All–New Advanced Platform
The 2011 Optima is distinctive, right down to its all–new platform. Optima’s low, lean and powerful stance is assisted through its overall length of 190.7 inches, an increase of 1.7 inches over the previous model. Optima is built on a platform with an overall width of 72.1 inches and wheelbase of 110 inches, an increase of 2.9 inches, and has a low ground clearance of 5.3 inches for enhanced aerodynamics. Optima’s lightweight design uses high–tensile–strength steel to enhance structural strength while also achieving high torsional stiffness, benefiting handling, ride quality and refinement. Additional measures to help ensure good noise vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities are fitted throughout the Optima.
Built on a unibody frame, the front–wheel–drive Optima utilizes independent front and rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts are used in the front with a multi–link layout in the rear and are both joined with coil springs and front anti–roll bars to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide the utmost comfort whether the road is smooth or less than ideal.
Class–Leading Efficient and Powerful Engines
The 2011 Optima is available in three all–new and fuel–efficient Theta II powerplants, a 2.4–liter GDI four–cylinder, a 2.0–liter GDI turbo or a 2.4–liter hybrid engine. The 2.4–liter GDI engine produces 200 horsepower7 and upgrading to the available 2.0–liter turbo GDI engine (EX Turbo and SX models) delivers V6–type power with a four–cylinder engine that produces 274 horsepower, while mated to a six–speed automatic transmission. This represents Kia’s first application of GDI technology, while a 2.4–liter hybrid Optima will be introduced in 2011. All automatics feature Sportmatic® clutchless shifting. A single six–speed manual transmission is available only with the LX four–cylinder model.
In addition to impressive performance, both engines also offer consumer–friendly fuel economy. The 2.4–liter four–cylinder posts 24/35 mpg (city/highway) when mated to the manual transmission and 24/34 mpg when coupled with the automatic transmission, while the 2.0–liter turbo GDI offers 22/34 mpg, only available with the automatic transmission.
The 2011 Optima is equipped with a high level of standard safety features, as is the rest of the Kia line–up. This includes six airbags (dual advanced front and front–seat mounted side as well as full–length side curtain), front active headrests, side–impact door beams, height–adjustable front seatbelts with pre–tensioners, three–point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Four–wheel antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a Brake Assist System (BAS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC) also are standard.
The 2011 Optima is covered by KMA’s warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10–year/100,000–mile limited powertrain warranty, a five–year/60,000–mile limited basic warranty and a five–year/100,000–mile anti–perforation warranty. A five–year/60,000–mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the vehicle coverage.