2016 Kia Optima Concept Shown for the First Time Ahead of Geneva Debut

2016 Kia Optima Concept 4 photos
Photo: Kia
2016 Kia Optima Concept2016 Kia Optima Concept2016 Kia Optima Concept
After Hyundai announced its all-new Tucson/ix35 would debut in Geneva, Kia has also stepped forward with its big debut of the 2015 show calendar, the 2016 Optima sedan.
Ahead of its upcoming debut on March 3rd, the Korean company has shown the first picture which indicates the fourth-generation model will be something to behold. Shown in red with large multi-spoke alloy wheels, it almost seems like they're previewing a sports sedan, not a family car.

Last year, our cameras captured a performance version of the Optima testing near the Nurburgring. The high-strung engine seemed to be a 2-liter turbocharged unit, which its sister model the Hyundai Sonata offers on a sports model with quad exhaust and a body kit.

The red rocket from Seoul also has vented front fenders, slim side mirrors, all-LED headlights a raked windshield and wraparound grille. It shames the VW Passat in every possible way, and that's because this isn't a full production model. Instead, Kia's design studio in Frankfurt is only previewing its work with a concept car.

This D-segment sedan is the 11th concept created in Frankfurt and shows where the "tiger-nose" grille is headed. It's been made less tall to appear sportier, while by connection to the headlights, the impression of a wide front end is created. The badge has also been moved up to the bonnet, like Audi did with its TT coupe.

Change is on the horizon

Besides the 2-liter T-GDI model we mentioned, Kia is likely to launch yet another new type of powertrain in its bid to fight the Passat and Mondeo. Last year, they showed a testbed prototype called Optima T-Hybrid, which combined an electric motor with the familiar 1.7-liter diesel to increase power output and decrease fuel consumption at the same time. It also had an electric supercharger in place of the normal turbo, something we know Audi also wants to offer in the near future.

Over in America though, we shouldn't expect such wild tech. Instead, buyers will continue to be tempted by the 185-hp 2.4-liter GDI 4-cylinder and the 2-liter turbo of the Sport 2.0T models. A lighter yet stiffer steel body will be one of the major selling points, together with the increased cabin space.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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