With all the excitement at the Kia stand surrounding the new Soul EV, it's easy to forget that there were other cars on display at the Korean marque's Chicago Auto Show display. The Niro Concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show made an appearance, but the other production model on display was the refreshed Optima Hybrid (which was tucked away in a corner).

Like the standard Optima, which was refreshed at the 2013 New York Auto Show last year, the hybridized sedan gets a slightly restyled face and rear end. As we told you in our official post on the car yesterday, the gas-electric powertrain of the 2014 Optima Hybrid still deploys 199 total system horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. Buyers of the base LX car will net 36 miles per gallon in the city and 40 on the highway, while the upmarket EX loses a mile per gallon in both environments.

Have a look at our live gallery of the new Optima Hybrid, from the floor of the Chicago Auto Show.
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2014 KIA OPTIMA HYBRID UNVEILED AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW

Kia's Stylish Hybrid Mid-size Sedan Returns with Improved Aerodynamic Design and Technological Enhancements

- Efficiency-focused design updated with restyled front and rear fascias
- Hybrid version of Kia's best-selling Optima now offers more uplevel features and options to enhance comfort and value


CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the 2014 Optima Hybrid mid-size sedan as one of three eco-friendly Kia vehicles introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2014 Optima Hybrid builds upon the advancements of its award-winning gas-powered sibling, which went on sale in late-fall of last year. Debuting with its own exclusive enhancements, including front and rear fascia updates designed to increase aerodynamic efficiency, new wheel designs, and unique grille and lighting elements, the 2014 Optima Hybrid improves upon its predecessor, which was named one of the "Top 11 Most Fuel-Efficient Sedans for 2013" by Edmunds.com.

"The Optima Hybrid is an important and integral component of Kia's advanced propulsion story," said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. "It's unique in its segment because it not only gives owners savings at the gas pump and a smaller carbon footprint, but it also delivers world-class design, robust performance and an upscale personality, making it a truly attractive and well-rounded hybrid offer."

Available in LX and EX trims, the 2014 Optima Hybrid features carryover refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a strong Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a powerful 47 kW lithium polymer battery. The combined gas-electric 199 horsepower rating and combined 235 lb.-ft. of torque remain, resulting in a responsive and enjoyable driving experience. The LX model achieves an EPA estimated 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined , while the EX model delivers an EPA estimated 35/39/371.

Design Enhancements for Better Fuel Efficiency

The dynamic and sporty design upgrades on the gasoline-powered 2014 Optima are retooled for the Hybrid to increase fuel efficiency. Contributing to improved aerodynamics are a series of additional vents in the Optima Hybrid's unique front bumper, increasing airflow and reducing drag. Newly designed and more aerodynamic 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels (LX and EX, respectively) reduce weight and drag while superbly integrating with the Optima's eye-catching new design elements.

In addition to those elements designed with fuel efficiency in mind, the 2014 Optima Hybrid also boasts a unique new front grille design, Hybrid-exclusive front LED lighting, new Hybrid fender badges and an attractive and upscale optional white leather package. Technological improvements to the gasoline-powered 2014 Optima carryover within the cabin of the Optima Hybrid, as drivers are greeted with more upscale and high-tech amenities. Activating the Optima's push button ignition brings two displays to life: a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and optional high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen, featuring UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity® sound system, HD Radio™® , SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Traffic™4.

Advanced Safety Features

The 2014 Optima Hybrid is equipped with an impressive array of standard safety equipment. All trims come standard with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) also come standard on all models.


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