The model features a turbocharged engine, which is capable of developing 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of peak torque. The engine will be offered for two of the model's trim levels, the EX and SX and, thanks to the six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic clutchless shifting, promises to bring an estimated fuel consumption level of 22 mpg city/34 mpg highway.
Safety wise, the model entering the US this week brings a wide array of technologies, including ix airbags, front active headrests, side-impact door beams, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC).
Standard features on the Kia Optima include air-conditioning, electric windows front and rear, CD/Stereo with 6 speakers, keyless-entry with alarm system, mirror LED turn signals, windshield de-icer and folding rear centre armrest with twin cup-holders.
"The 2011 Kia Optima is an example of Kia's commitment to exceptional quality, style, and innovation over the past decade, establishing a new benchmark in an already crowded mid-size sedan segment," said Michael Sprague, Kia vice president, marketing & communications.
"The Optima's first-ever two-liter turbocharged engine with direct injection not only makes the Optima lineup a more compelling choice for consumers, the combination of Kia's transformational design language, standout performance, and best-in-class value hit a sweet spot our competitors in the segment can't match."