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Click the image above for a gallery of all the IIHS contenders.

click on the picture above to see a gallery

Kia's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Len Hunt, showed off the redesigned Kia Amanti at the LA Auto Show yesterday. Although the big news for Kia was the debut of the Rondo nanowagon, Len took a few minutes out his Rondoism shtick to mention the Amanti as well. The Amanti has earned its fair share of accolades and represents the value leader in segment. With the new enhancements, it should be an even better deal.

Remember our post about the revised Kia Opirus? The sedan, which is sold in North America as the Kia Amanti, will be arriving in the U.S. some time next year. According to senior vice president Jean-Charles Lievens of Kia Motors Europe, the 2007 Opirus/Amanti will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show this September.

While trolling the AutoWeek forums we found a post that led us to Kia's Korean website where, front and center, the brand was touting the "N.E.X.T. Opirus". We're not sure what "N.E.X.T." stands for, but it's clear from these photos that Kia has gone to the trouble of cleaning up the front and rear clips of the Opirus, which is the basis for the North American Amanti. The front end looks much better with a wider and shorter grille (are those LED lamps in the lower bumper à la the Audi S6?