The all-new Kia Optima will be unveiled in European specification at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.
The fourth-generation Optima, which will go on sale across Europe in the Autumn, features a new exterior and interior design with more space for all occupants, an array of new technologies and a wide choice of powertrains.
Kia claims the new model will also offer greater refinement and improved ride and handling compared to the outgoing model.
The evolutionary new design is marginally longer (+10mm), taller (+10mm) and wider (+25mm) than before, with all the extra length going into the wheelbase to create more room in the cabin.
The front end integrates the brand’s hallmark ‘tiger-nose’ grille with the longer, wider, wrap-around headlamps, pulled taut over blistered wheel arches.
In profile, the glass area maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar with the rear quarter light kicking up as the shoulder line extends towards the raised boot lid where LED halo-style tail lamps wrap around the rear corners to give the car a modern, new light signature.
The interior is more luxurious, driver-focused interior than ever before, says Kia, with improvements in material quality including more soft-touch materials and cloth and leather trim in natural tones combining with additional soundproofing to boost refinement.
The dashboard is divided into an upper ‘display’ zone, housing a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a lower ‘control’ zone to manage additional secondary cabin functions.
The front and rear seats have been redesigned with stiffer frames to improve comfort whilst at the same time reducing the weight of each seat by 2.6 kg. Luggage space is up from 505 to 510 litres, with the under-floor storage area and a wider boot opening adding greater practicality.
On the safety front, the bodyshell is stronger thanks to more use of ultra-high tensile steel (UHTS), while the total number of airbags fitted as standard has increased to seven with driver, driver knee, passenger, two front side and two curtain airbags.
Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) is fitted as standard, ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering if it detects a loss of traction.
Depending on market, other new available features will include: 360-degree Around View Monitor, with four cameras helping the driver to manoeuvre when parking by displaying a birds-eye view of the Optima on the touchscreen; Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS), which parks the car automatically in parallel and perpendicular spaces and helps drivers safely leave a parking space; and Dynamic Bending Headlamps, which sweep the road ahead in line with the steering wheel for greater visibility and improved safety at night.
The upgraded 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engine is expected to account for the majority of European sales from launch. Carried over from the existing model, it delivers more power and torque with reduced emissions. Also available, will be the same 2.0-litre CVVL engine as fitted to the outgoing model but the definitive UK powertrain line-up is yet to be confirmed.
Kia says the Optima range will be developed further with the addition of a new body style, inspired by the SPORTSPACE concept car shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.