by Daniel DeGasperi

Kia Australia is looking at offering a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the Kia Sportage and facelifted Kia Optima range.

Speaking on the eve of the New York auto show, where the facelifted Optima will debut, Kia Australia PR manager Kevin Hepworth said that the early-2014 Australian introduction of the tweaked Optima could “possibly” be the right time to launch a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder variant.

While dismissing the likelihood of turbo petrol engine availability in the new-generation Cerato, which arrives locally in April, Hepworth remarked that “the more likely discussions – and this isn’t planning this is just discussions – is for Optima and Sportage” to get turbo petrol power in Australia.

Kia Sportage

In North America, both the Optima mid-sized sedan and Sportage compact SUV utilise the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine.

“They’re both cars that we’ve looked at and we are looking at,” added Hepworth.

Of the engine itself, the local PR boss says that “it is a really nice thing … it’s almost the equivalent power to the [Subaru] WRX.”

The turbo petrol engine produces 204kW of power at 6000rpm – marginally more than the WRX but less than the STI – and 365Nm of torque at 1750rpm, and in both applications mates with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Kia Pro_Cee'd GT

Hepworth says the decision is currently with the product planning team, but cautions that the introduction of the Pro_Cee’d GT later this year may affect the chances of a turbo petrol Optima and Sportage coming to Australia.

“You’ve got to pick a ‘hero’ car to start with.

“The Pro_Cee’d is not going to be a big volume car, but … I think it’s going to be a priority.

“But I wouldn’t say it [Optima and Sportage turbo] is impossible at all.”

The Pro_Cee’d GT is expected to launch in Australia early next year; the same time the facelifted Optima is expected to arrive.

  • Maz

    Wish they offered the Sportage in turbo in Oz. Mrs has the petrol model and it’s fairly asthmatic. Would be awesome with the 2.0t!

    • Zaccy16

      but they wood have to fix the horrible steering and handling before they put that sort of power in it

  • 42 = The Answer

    All I can say is… HURRY THE F*$& UP!

  • Resident

    They are some pretty impressive numbers for a 2.0L Turbo…! Would make the Sportage a bit of a sleeper on the road.

  • F1orce

    They’re about 2 years late

  • Don Quay

    Torque steer here we come! The Optimistic can’t handle the “250Nm” they reckon they have with the NA engines, so involuntary lane changes will be the norm with 50% more torque. But then, we all know that the output figures are inflated, so maybe you’ll just be weaving around your own lane like a drunk driver.

    • Sumpguard

          Hey look everyone,

                                    It’s Donkey the Korean car hater back out of his hole.


      • Don Quay

        Drive one mate and you’ll see I’m right.

        I love the way you resort to abuse to answer a comment. You are so predictable. Where have you been hiding, pushing the Chery to get it started?

        • Paul123

          I think he does drive one

          • Don Quay

            I seriously doubt that Sumpguard drives an Optimistic turbo, since they’ve never been sold in Australia, the article says they are considering introducing it.

            He reckons he used to drive an ix35, but says he got rid of it because the ride and steering were so crook. Then he reckons he bought the Hyundai’s cousin, the Sportage and got rid of that too. Some fanboy he is, buys them, tells everybody how fantastic they are and then gives them the flick a year or so later. He has been uncharacteristically shy about what he is driving now. He likes to crow about how special he is in his choice of car, but not now. I reckon he has a Chery.

          • Sumpguard

            Peddling the anti-Korean garb again Donkey. I had the sportage for two years and it was brilliant.  The new owners love it too. The ix35 was also a very good car but this council doesn’t  fix roads after our wet season so it had to go as a firm ride is a bad idea up here . Just as a mate sold  his mazda 3 for the same reason and bought a Dualis.  Does that make his Mazda 3 a rubbish car too?

                 The Sportage was such a bad car that I got interest from the other side of the country with 3 people vying for it wanting to fly up here to Cairns to buy it. Must have been a heap of rubbish then. Sold for nealy $3 grand above the highest redbook valuation.

               You stalk the Korean threads and offer up nothing worthy. I am aware you are involved in the industry for the record. Someone told me long ago who you are and what you do (aka “the Oracle)

               So come clean to everyone else and tell them why you continually bad mouth the Korean brands .  Using this blog as a platform to attempt to slow the onslaught from Korea. You recently claimed the love affair with Hyundai was wearing off yet they continue to grow in market share both locally and internationally. Just more baseless tripe.

                 Your solution to any debate is to refer to people as hicks, downys and rednecks because they don’t live at your address which I’m guessing is a unit complex somewhere. 

                You also seem to believe I drive a Chery and have made this statement numerous times. One more time and just because your IQ is in single digits I’ll say it louder and larger ………………….. I DON’T DRIVE A CHERY.


          • Don Quay

            Gee Sumpy, you sound a little stressed out. Chill mate.
            Let me respond one point at a time.

            You stated ” I am aware you are involved in the industry for the record. Someone told me long ago who you are and what you do” You’re making things up again. Put up or shut up. Don’t be shy, tell us all who I am and what I do. You have my permission.

            Re the ix35, you buy a car with poor ride and it’s the local council’s fault. Really? Next time take a test drive.

            You plainly stated that you park your Chery outside the caravan, next to the Lada. If that’s not correct, then what do you drive? Do you actually have a car?

            Your story about selling the Sportage is a joke. Mate, you try to make it sound as rare as a vintage Ferrari. You reckon you sold it for $3K above market price and a two year old Kia lost less then 15% to depreciation. Sure, mate. According to Redbook (yes, I took the the two minutes to check), a 2010 Kia Sportage Platinum diesel had a RRP of $39K + ORC and a max private sale of $31K and you claim a sale around $34K. As to flying interstate, with the added cost of fares and accomodation, no one even consider this for your old car, when a new one would be end up cheaper. Don’t say they are unavailable, there are heaps advertised for sale in all spec levels around the whole country. 

            Sumpy, if you are going to make up stories, at least try to keep them in the bounds of credibility and not stray into fairy tale territory. I am really wondering if you ever had a Sportage.

            For reasons I will not discuss, I would never use a term such as “Downy”, that is certainly more of your style as shown by your comments about muppets, gronks and spas’s. I don’t recall using hick or redneck. I believe my term for you was “inbred hillbilly”.

            I don’t live in a unit complex. I reside on my estate where I can gaze across the sweeping vista, to the verdant fields of my lands.

            Finally, as I have stated many times, I do not “hate” Korean cars. They are just inanimate objects, but you seem to anthropomophise them. I do believe that they are nowhere as good as you uncritical and unthinking fanboys claim. Hyundai and Kia, still have significant shortcomings in styling, ride, steering and handling and have a past history of poor durability and expensive parts and service. There are now serious questions from many sources about the claimed outputs and the lack of performance and economy in the real world. Comprende?

            Once more, tell us all what you claim to know about me and my business. I have given hints in the past.

          • Sumpguard


          • Don Quay

            Sumpy mate, not at all. I’m surprised an inbred hillbilly even knew the word, let alone spell it. Who helped you?

          • Sumpguard

              That’s twice you have called me mate in two days, and you reckon I’m inbred. 

          • Don Quay

            So mate, you can read what I write. But obviously you can’t count. Irony is lost on you to.

        • Zaccy16

          haha, sounds about right

      • Zaccy16

        hes sumpy, the korean lover!

        • Golfschwein

          Yay, and has to sell his car because its deficient suspension became too much for him.

          • Don Quay

            I hear the repo man came and got the Sportage one night from outside the caravan.

          • Zaccy16

            yep, finally realised the huge mistake he made!

      • Hung Low

        What happened to the Sportage?

        • Don Quay

          Repo man then a trip to the Chery dealer.

    • bd

      Evidently, you know little of which you talk about.

      The Optima turbo has little by the way of torque-steer since the torque output is limited at lower gears (full power doesn’t get to the wheels until higher gears which is why the “sweet spot” for the Optima turbo is in passing speeds).

      • Don Quay

        Make up your mind, Kat, are you referencing power or torque? The article states that the engine produces “365Nm of torque at 1750rpm” That is hardly high speed and that is what will make you change lanes.
        Just about every review of the sub-Optimal criticises its steering and handling and the turbo engine amplifies the shortcomings.

    • Kaboom

      Your correct Don.You can not increase the power and torque of this car without doing some serious driver dynamic engineering.

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, same with the sportage, if they are going to put this powerful engine in they will have to fix the dodgy dynamics

      • John

        Sorry, but what exactly does ‘dodgy dynamics’ mean?

        • Zaccy16

          Drive one and you will see what i mean

      • Kaboom

        Optima is a nicley styled car Zaccy,interior is good.Turn the corner fast and get the Hq Holden body roll.

        • Zaccy16

          i agree that it looks good and less dated than any hyundais, but the handling is very very below par, like you mentioned body roll is immense

          • $29896495

            These comments are interesting. I haven’t read Australian tests but the US reports them as good steerers, from memory, if underpowered in the hybrid form.

          • Sumpguard

              They steer and handle fine huwtm. Just more baseless tripe from the DasClunk’s No1 fanboi.

  • $29896495

    Good idea. This country should have had the more powerful engines in the full Kia range from the start.

  • Aazz

    I think that Proceed GT could do with some spotlights

    • Pmmcarblogs

      Sensational torque figure at low rpm. That should solve the problem of the weak two litre Sportage, which was frankly ponderous compared to the larger petrol. Price will be critical. If it comes in under the diesel, will be a good economical option.

      • Sumpguard

        I reckon it will be similar money to the diesel.


        • Don Quay

          You wouldn’t have a clue about Kia’s plans. You’re making things up again.

          • Sumpguard

              Says the clown that assumes it will have massive torque steer.

               FTR “I reckon” implies a guess you muppet.

          • Don Quay

            Wow, two gratuitous insults in one post. You are consistent.
            FTR they torque steer now, a massive increase in torque means it will be much worse. But you reckon that is “fine”.

  • American Guy

    I’ll get the ProCeed GT, please just bring that besat

  • Hung Low

    The Optima is a victim of its looks. It punches way above the price in the looks department but finds it hard to set the bar as high for the driveline or drive. Still not a bad unit and worth considering if in the Camry type market

  • Sumpguard

         I agree it is a victim of its looks Hung Low. Funny thing is people condemn the camry for boring styling and when someone raises  the bar on styling those same people then use that raised bar to attack everything else. Maybe Toyota are onto something?