ALL-NEW KIA OPTIMA HYBRID UNVEILED AT 2016 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
Friday, 12 February 2016
- Enhanced HEV blends sophisticated design and premium driving experience with focus on efficiency
- New powertrain targets 10 percent improvement in fuel economy over outgoing Optima Hybrid
- 2017 model infuses aerodynamic form and function into Optima's sleek, modern design
Kia Motors have unveiled the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid (HEV) at the Chicago Auto Show. The Optima HEV enjoys the same full redesign - inside and out - as the conventional gas-powered model, the all-new fourth-generation Optima saloon, bringing with it a new hybrid powertrain that targets a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing model. The enhanced HEV blends modern styling and a premium driving experience with an even more intense focus on efficiency and is being introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics environmentally friendly sub-brand.
Targeting a 10 percent increase in fuel economy, the Optima Hybrid replaces the previous generation's 2.4-liter engine with an efficient and compact 2.0-liter GDI four cylinder - estimated at 154 horsepower - coupled with a hybrid starter generator and tied to an upgraded, smooth-shifting six-speed transmission. A 38 kW electric motor and clutch replaces the traditional torque converter to provide strong off-the-line acceleration and power assistance to the engine when necessary. Energy flow is fast and seamless between EV mode and hybrid mode. Total combined output for the Optima Hybrid is estimated at a robust 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Also adding to the equation is a new electric water pump and a new electric oil pump, which help improve overall fuel economy.
Giving life to the electric motor is a more compact, lightweight, high-density lithium-polymer battery pack with a 13-percent increase in capacity to 1.62 kWh. With improved packaging, this more potent energy source now fits neatly underneath the trunk floor without encroaching into cargo space. The revised battery configuration results in a larger, more practical load area and allows the integration of 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
All-new Eco-DAS[i] (Driver Assistance System) features Kia's first application of Coasting Guide. This feature aims at maximising fuel economy by essentially coaching the driver on when to coast and brake via an icon in the Instrument Panel that blinks for four-seconds and sounds a one-time audible alert.
The Optima Hybrid features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys, creating a stiffer, more durable chassis with more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) construction. In addition, a significant increase in hot-stamped components and greater use of structural adhesive improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. This new body structure helps provide crash protection and better driving dynamics and is the foundation for a quieter ride.
Aerodynamic form and function
Although the new Hybrid boasts the same bold styling as the redesigned 2016 Optima, it offers distinctive design features and exterior elements that differentiate it from the gas-powered models in the Optima range, while also achieving a coefficient of drag that is among the lowest in the segment at 0.24 Cd. Featuring an active grille, which automatically opens and closes at high and low speeds, the Hybrid is able to improve aerodynamics while optimising engine bay cooling. Numerous other styling differences include a model-specific front air curtain, a beveled rear bumper, a rear diffuser designed to streamline airflow by shrouding the exhaust tip, and an aerodynamic alloy-wheel design. These are complemented by modern LED lighting, satin finish accent trim and special ‘EcoHybrid' badging.
The new Optima Hybrid makes intelligent use of technology to deliver a host of comprehensive driver assistance systems and convenience features. The HEV now offers Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)[ii], which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage. Other key driver assistance systems include Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Front Collision Warning System (FCWS)2.
To make life on the road easier and more enjoyable, the Optima Hybrid brings convenience offerings such as the Hands-free Trunk Open feature with Smart Key, a Wireless Phone Charger and Surround View Monitoring (SVM) to aid parking maneuvers.
Kia's cutting-edge connectivity system with smartphone-projected navigation, UVO3[iii], comes standard with UVO telematics, and is enhanced with Android[iv] AutoTM and Apple[v] CarPlay®, which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. There's also an upgraded AVN 4.0 Navigation system combined with the Harman/Kardon QuantumLogicTMPremium Surround Sound Audio System[vi], which includes 10 speakers, Clari-FiTM[vii] technology and a 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process.
The Optima Hybrid's passenger compartment is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia's premium saloons, the Optima Hybrid features its own model-specific instrument panel gauges and utilises more soft-touch materials throughout. With an impressive attention to detail, the interior features real stitching along the dash and doors.
Overall, the driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation. A stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia's already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved.
The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort with a stiffer seat frame that reduces vibration, as well as greater use of soft foam in the headrest and upper back, and denser, more supportive foam in thigh-support areas. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. The 2017 Optima Hybrid also offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles.
Editor's note: All technical specifications and standard/optional features in this press release refer to the U.S. model and may differ from models marketed in other regions.
[i]Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition.
[ii]These features are not substitutes for safe driving and may not detect all objects around vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[iii]Distracted driving can result in a loss of vehicle control. Never use a handheld device or vehicle system that takes your focus away from safe vehicle operation. Requires compatible smartphone. App uses your smartphone data service. Normal cellular service rates will apply.
[iv]Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.
[v]Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
[vi]Registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Inc.
[vii]Clari-Fi™ and QuantumLogicTM are trademarks of Harman International Industries, Inc.
For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact:
Director of Corporate Communications
T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
Press Relations Manager
T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
Senior Press Officer
T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
Senior Press Officer
T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
Press Officer (press fleet)
T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
Press Office Assistant
T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475
Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk