Kia outlines plans for hybrid and plug-in Optimas
Kia hasn’t confirmed whether the Optima Hybrid will make it to right-hand drive markets but has said the car will launch in Europe in early 2016 – it could offer a rival to the Ford Mondeo hybrid, which is offered in right-hand drive.
No economy figures have been announced but Kia said the new version will target a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to its predecessor. That equates to around 63mpg with CO2 emissions of under 105g/km, despite the increase in power.
Passenger and car space is improved in the new version, too. The lithium-polymer battery pack is under the boot floor, which reduces the loss of cargo capacity and means the rear bench can be folded. Kia
The Optima Plug-in Hybrid will follow later in the year. This uses the same 154bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine as the Optima Hybrid, but with a more powerful 67bhp motor and a much larger 9.8kWh lithium-polymer battery pack. A charging port on the wing can replenish the battery within three hours at a dedicated point.
Kia is targeting a 27-mile electric range and 48mpg fuel economy once the battery is depleted, which is over 120mpg and just over 50mpg on the combined cycle for plug-in hybrids. Final figures for both versions have not been confirmed, so early data is subject to change, and it's unclear whether the planned Optima estate will use either drivetrain.