All-New 2016 Kia Optima: Tuned 2.0L Turbo on Sport Model Spied

2016 Kia Optima 1 photo
Photo: original image by autoevolution
The mid-size sedan segment is hugely important for Kia. The current generation Optima sedan was the best selling car in Korea after its launch five years ago and quickly became their top player in America afterwards. Despite the appealing look of this machine, its powertrain technology is not as up-to-date as the one boasted by Honda and Toyota.
A brand new Optima sedan will make its official debut in 2015 and we have a nice 2-minute long spy video to preview all the new tech. The car we've managed to film at the Nurburgring is probably the very top-spec model, the Optima Turbo or Sport.

It's clearly powered by a throaty new 2-liter T-GDI turbo engine pushing somewhere in the region of 250 horsepower. Hyundai has just dropped a similar mill into the 2015 Sonata Sport sedan, coupled to a six-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and lowered suspension.

The 2016 Optima Sport would probably target only a very small niche if offered in Europe, where it would compete with similarly powered Ford Mondeo and Opel Insignia models. However, it would be popular in America.

What other engines will be offered?

A recent report from Korea suggests the R&D vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Group, Yang Woong-Chul, stated that plug-in hybrid versions of the Sonata and Kia Optima will be launched next year onto the global market.

This is likely to be based on the technology developed for the normal Optima Hybrid, but with a larger battery pack added and a more powerful electric motor with around 100 horsepower that can power the vehicle independently.

Any new diesel technology?

Yes, plenty actually. Kia unveiled a concept called the the Optima T-Hybrid at the Paris Motor Show. This is more like a future technology demonstrator than anything else and combines their 1.7-liter diesel engine with a 15 hp electric motor, a 48-volt lead-carbon battery, and an electric supercharger.

Thanks to all of this, the output of the car is increased by 20%, while the CO2 emissions drop by -20%. It's a good deal, if you ask us, and it also gives the Koreans a worthy rival for the bigger 2.0L turbodiesel engines used by the Optima's big rivals. This twin-charged motor will likely not be ready until 2016 though.

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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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