NEW OPTIMA IN THE WORKS: Kia’s new Optima will make its debut later in 2015 - hold thumbs for South African distribution. Image: Automedia
Kia is expected to release its redesigned Optima sedan some time later in 2015 - though whether it will reach South Africa is not yet certain.
Certainly the local arm of the Korean automaker say it is wanted - but it depends on the future of the rand exchange rate.
The Optima was first launched back in 2000; the second generation hit the global markets in late 2005. The third and current generation model made its official public debut at the 2010 New York auto show. In 2013, Kia’s Optima sedan received a mid-cycle makeover.
Automedia reports that Kia’s new sedan will receive a complete makeover for the 2016 model year.
NEW DESIGN, NEW ENGINES
Kia’s on-road pre-production testing cycles normally start 18 months ahead of mass production. When it does happen, the next Optima will be improved in areas that "include design, comfort and power-train technology”.
That will mean a redesigned exterior and revised interior with more-premium materials. Expect improved safety due to new technologies including forward collision warning, smart cruise-control, blind-spot detection and lane-departure warning - and if all else fails, "advanced high-strength steels".
IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 Kia Optima (Spy)
Th large metallic band that wraps the centre console of the current model will disappear. Instead there will be minimalist style with smaller silver trimmings on the facia.
Engine options are expected to follow those of the Hyundai Sonata so choices could include new four-cylinder units - 138kW/241Nm 2.4 and a turbocharged 182kW/352Nm two-litre petrol.
An hybrid engine is also said to be in the works.