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by Tim Beissmann

The 2016 Kia Optima has shown its face for the first time just days out from its official unveiling at next week’s 2015 New York auto show.

The new-generation Optima represents a design evolution, building on the styling of the current model that kicked off Kia’s uprising in 2010.

Angular headlights flow seamlessly into the Optima’s diamond-effect ‘tiger-nose’ grille, while a wide lower air intake and side intakes pushed to the edges of the muscular bumper add width and presence to its new front end.

The mostly front-on image gives little else away, but does give a brief look at the 2016 Optima’s clean door panels and rising shoulder line. Teaser sketches released just days ago suggested the rear would get narrower tail-lights, a more aggressively angled rear windscreen, and more prominent boot and bumper panels.

A short press release accompanying today’s image described the new Kia Optima as “instantly recognisable yet thoroughly fresh”, and said it would be “available with multiple engine choices … a more spacious interior, class-up premium features and a number of technologies not previously offered” in the current model.

The new-generation Kia Optima sedan will go on sale in Australia around November-December this year. A regular petrol engine will be offered along with a 180kW turbo petrol engine shared with the Hyundai Sonata and a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain – a first for Kia in Australia.

A wagon version, previewed by the Kia Sportspace concept that debuted earlier this month at the Geneva motor show, has been given the green light for production and is another likely starter for our market – though a final decision on this second body style is yet to be made.

Stay tuned for more details on the 2016 Kia Optima in the coming days.




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