Kia Optima Hybrid to be launched in 2012
Kia is set to enhance its green credentials in the UK with the launch of a hybrid version of the company’s Optima executive saloon model.
The latest generation version of the Optima, which replaces the Kia Magentis, is a complete redesign of previous models. The new car has a sleeker, sportier profile then its predecessors thanks to the latest design work from Kia design Chief Peter Schreyer.
The Optima will come in three different trim options: LX, EX and SX. The South Korean manufacturer is currently deciding whether to take both the 2-litre petrol and 2-litre diesel engines to the UK market, or to just take the diesel option.
In the US, a larger 2.4-litre engine is available, but this will not be used in European versions of the car.
The new Optima should arrive in Britain later this year. A turbo and wagon version of the Optima will also hit the European market.
The hybrid version of the Optima is currently in development in South Korea, and will arrive in the UK possibly late next year. It will be marketed with a 2-litre petrol engine and equipped with a 30kw electric motor.
Engineers in South Korea claim the hybrid model will be the most economical car in the large D segment. In further green car plans, Kia also intends to start marketing hydrogen fuel electric vehicles from 2015.