The all-new Kia Optima has just been unveiled at the New York International Auto Show and we can confirm that it's headed to Australia to replace the Magentis towards the end of this year.
Jan 22nd 2011 Update - KIA Australia has announced prices at $36,990 for the Optima Platinum as the only variant in the range. That includes all the features standard with the only option being metallic paint.
Kia believes the new sedan which has been designed to appeal to a whole new generation of buyers is certain to be a hit given its futuristic appearance.
Hyundai's sister brand says its new midsize sedan will showcase many firsts on Kias. Not only in the style and performance categories but also in interior luxury and overall feel.
Although it's unlikely we will see all of the new five powertrains coming to Australia, North Americans will also have access to the first Kia turbo engine and even a Kia hybrid (coming in 2011).
We suspect the hybrid drivetrain is the same as the one used in the recently announced Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai Australia has told CarAdvice that it's currently assessing the possibility of bringing the hybrid variant here but given it's built for right-hand drive markets (built in Alabama) it may be unlikely for some time.
The idea behind the Optima design was to convey elegance and athletic confidence from every angle. The model was designed at Kia's studios in Frankfurt and Irvine, California, under the talented eyes of Kia's design boss Peter Schreyer.
"The all-new Optima is a new strand in Kia's growing design DNA with a blend of simple and fluid lines and elegant but uncomplicated shapes that draw the attention of the eye in much the same fashion as a perfectly-tailored fine Italian suit," said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors Corporation.
Compared to the Magentis the Kia Optima is longer, wider, lower and is built on a new midsize platform. It appears to be one of many cars that may potentially be based on this platform across the Hyundai-Kia range.
Details of the engines are currently hard to come by and Australia is unlikely to see all five engines at launch. What we do know is the all-new Optima will make use of direct injection, multi-port injection and turbocharging to up the power without sacrificing fuel efficiency.
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