• Sep 22, 2010
2011 Kia Optima – Click above for high-res image gallery

We're still trying to stay on top of everything being officially unveiled next week at the Paris Motor Show, but it looks like we may also need to keep an eye trained on the LA Auto Show as well. Auto Guide is reporting that Kia will officially unveil the Optima Hybrid on the left coast, giving Hyundai's smaller sibling an entry in the battery-assisted market.

The Optima Hybrid is sure to be powered by the very same 169-horsepower 2.4-liter Theta II engine mated to a 30 kW electric motor that thriftily motivates the Sonata Hybrid. If that is indeed the case, we expect the same impressive fuel economy figures of 39 miles per gallon around town and 37 mpg on the highway, along with an electric-only top speed of 62 miles per hour.

With a hybrid variant set to join the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter base model and the 274 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo variant, the Optima looks to be quite the upstart in the always competitive midsized sedan segment. The Optima Hybrid will reportedly go on sale early in 2011.



Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

[Source: Auto Guide]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Kia is one of the sexiest, powerful car in auto industry. I loved its feature and would love to make a drive with it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kia and Hyundai know how to do platform sharing right.

      Same basic car, but worlds apart in looks. And personally, personally now, I love them both. The design language of each speaks to me. Kia's straight forward straight edged approach is well represented here and speaks all business. there may be fun but it will be handled in a business like approach.

      I cant wait to see the Optima in person. I hope the pics arent masking anything, like bad proportions, but this is easily the best looking yet. I like the fortes and soul, not a fan of teh sportage (not bad, just dont care for the rear- prefer the Tuscon).

        • 4 Years Ago
        I saw at least a dozen optimas this morning driving down Culver in Irvine in a caravan and I have to say that the car looks much better in person, which I guess is true for a lot of cars. I can also say that the car looks better in every other color I saw than the blue shown in the photos.
        I did notice that a few of the cars had a black center roof panel, the blue car pictured doesn't seem to, but it was especially noticeable on the white and silver cars. Maybe this is associated with some sort of sunroof option, who knows...
        • 4 Years Ago
        But when a certain oval-logo Japanese car company does the same, it's cheap and stupid, and derides any value that was even present to begin with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My 2010 VW CC 2.0T gets 34 mpg at 80 mph.....why go hybrid when you can get great performance and economy from a non-hybrid?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Fazzster

        You obviously are unaware of the point of a hybrid which is their superior city mileage.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Standard Sonata has 200hp, 6 speed trans and gets 34mpg highway. Why spend $8000 more for the VW?

        Is VW a premium brand that commands a premium price? Is that why they made newer versions of the Jetta for $15,000?

        CC VS Sonata / Kia Hybrid:

        CC gets about 21mpg city and 31 hwy. (if you get 34 why can't the sonata also get 3 more and get 42??) Some places get better fuel economy than others.
        Hybrid Sonata / Optimat: 37 city and 39 hwy

        So recap:

        1. More HP (209 vs 200)
        2. 30% better hwy - 56% better city
        3. Cheaper.

        Weight - hasn't been released yet - but standard engines they are both about 3,200 lbs. (actually the optima is 10 lbs lighter than the CC but it's basically the same).

        The hybrid system used in the Hyundai lineup shouldn't add that much. They use the same transmission instead of a 2nd one like Toyota. Also they are using lithium packs which have more energy per lb than the nickel ones Toyota is using.

        So I'm thinking maybe a 190lb hit which really isn't that bad to go hybrid and get up to 56% better fuel economy.

        Oh and you don't have to use premium fuel!!!!! So thats another 10% hit on the CC.

        CC has an identity crisis if you ask me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because some of us drive in the city?
        • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Kid Red

        Actually... it doesn't do that either.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I saw it.
      The new Optima is really good looking car in Person.
      I first thought I want buy car because its design.
      Silver and Dark Grey color is better. That blue color is odd.
      I like concept car looking wheel. unlike any other car, it looks like a something special.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVgPOF0FT2w
      • 4 Years Ago
      Those MPG numbers are very tempting. I wish a hot hatch from Subaru or Mazda came even close...

      In other news, holy buttons on a steering wheel, Batman!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I would wait a year or two and see if all this extra power will make for a long engine life. Most people don't remember that Chrysler and Mitsubishi co-developed that engine line and they don't have numbers any where as good and Mitsubishi has more turbo time then the next five auto makers combined.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wait a year or two to see what mileage the next Mazda 3 will do with the new Sky-G drivetrains. Plus, if their Shinari concept is any indication of what's to come (and Mazda claims it is) then it'll definitely be worth the wait.
      • 4 Years Ago
      AB: you got the fuel mileage wrong. It's the other way around.

      37 city : 39 Highway

      The car is optimized for highway speeds.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kind of looks like a Korean version of a SAAB. The c-pillar treatment on this one doesn't look right though and their corporate grill is "meh" at best. It does have some nice interior touches.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously, I'm really thinking about replacing the 9-3 with this in a couple of years!
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