Since it was first launched in the US last year, we’ve looked in envy across the Atlantic, as American consumers took to the wheel of the Kia Optima Hybrid-the firm’s first hybrid model.
But now European fans of the Korean brand can rejoice too-as the firm announces that the Optima Hybrid is to launch in Europe in October. Sadly, the carmaker only plans left hand drive models which means we’ll still miss out here in the UK.
The new European model Optima Hybrid will be manufactured in Korea and will feature some key differences between it and the USA version.
Instead of a 2.4 litre engine, the European model will feature a 2.0 litre petrol which along with its electric motor, will develop maximum power if 188 bhp and deliver acceleration of 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds, up to a top speed of 120mph.
Kia’s parallel hybrid system features a six speed automatic transmissions. A special clutch between the engine and motor enables the engine to de-couple from the powertrain for zero-emissions full-electric driving up to 62 mph.
Complemented by Kia ISG stop/start system, emission levels are expected to be as low as 125g/km CO2 and fuel economy as strong as 52.3 mpg.
The car’s lithium polymer battery, developed in partnership with LG Chem, is 20 per cent lighter and 40 per cent more compact than a traditional nickel metal hydride battery.
Optima Hybrid uses 10 per cent less fuel on the combined cycle, 28 per cent less on the urban cycle and produces 21 per cent less CO2 than the 1.7-litre diesel Optima automatic.
The Optima Hybrid will be available with up to three different equipment levels, with specification including solar glass, dual zone air-conditioning, cruise control, an eight-way powered driver's seat with memory function, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and smart-key entry with engine start/stop button. Further up the range, part-or full-leather seat trim, heated front seats, a ventilated driver's seat, a seven-inch touch-screen satellite -navigation, rear-view safety camera, an Infinity premium audio system developed by Harman, Xenon headlamps, four-way powered front passenger seat, heated rear seats and a tyre pressure monitoring are fitted.
The Optima's battery pack will be covered by Kia’s famous seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
September 28, 2012
Filed under: Kia
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