/Kia Optima Hybrid

Kia Optima Hybrid

kia optima hybrid 1 at Kia Optima Hybrid

We truly like the new Kia optima becasue it’s just such a fine blend of style, practicality, equipments and quality, and with a starting price of just under $19,000 it is superb value as well. And now you can add “Green” to the list of its great features as the Korean company introduces the Kia Optima Hybrid at LA Autoshow.

Powered by an in-house developed hybrid system consisting of a 2.4-litre petrol engine plus 30 kW electric motor, the Kia Optima Hybrid is mainly designed for the US market. The car returns amazing fuel economy of 48 UK mpg (40 US MPG), but then you have to live with poor performance as it does 0 to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 121 mph.

kia optima hybrid 2 at Kia Optima Hybrid

But then you are buying a hybrid, so you are not looking for performance anyway. What you want is economy, convenience and comfort, and the Optima in uncanny in all.

“Kia Motors is proud to unveil its first-ever hybrid for the North American market,” comments Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman of Kia Motors Corporation.  “The new Optima Hybrid features a unique architecture and is packed with innovative technologies that demonstrate Kia’s on-going commitment to investing in R&D, and to developing environmentally friendly vehicles for the future. “Although these new technologies presented our engineers with a series of complex challenges to overcome, the resulting Optima Hybrid delivers a fully automatic, seamless and enjoyable drive, together with real-world benefits for our customers,” adds Mr. Lee.

kia optima hybrid 3 at Kia Optima Hybrid

As mentioned, the Optima hybrid has a 2.4-litre petrol engine is mated to a small electric motor and drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission – without the traditional torque converter.  A special clutch is fitted between the engine and motor, enabling the petrol engine to be de-coupled from the powertrain so that Optima can be operated in zero-tailpipe-emissions, full-electric drive mode from standstill up to 62 mph.

The hybrid powertrain has a total output of 209 ps and 265 Nm.

kia optima hybrid 4 at Kia Optima Hybrid

When setting off the Optima Hybrid operates in Electric Mode.  As vehicle speed rises, the Hybrid Starter motor/Generator (HSG) starts the petrol engine and the clutch is closed, allowing the engine to take over the task of propelling the car.  The electric motor switches into hybrid operation and serves as both a secondary engine (during full acceleration and hill-climbing) and a generator to recharge the battery pack as necessary.  Whenever the car comes to a stop for more than a few seconds, the petrol engine automatically shuts off to completely eliminate tailpipe emissions.

When braking, the electric motor converts kinetic energy into electricity for storage in the battery pack.  The 8.5 kW HSG also functions as a generator to re-charge the battery pack if the state of charge is low and when the car is stationary.  Throughout the entire driving experience, under all conditions, the entire hybrid operation is automatic and seamless.

kia optima hybrid 5 at Kia Optima Hybrid

Inside, the instrument panel has an ECO Guide to promote economical driving habits and is contoured toward the driver to suggest a cockpit feel with precise gauges and controls for an overall sport performance experience without sacrificing comfort or roominess.

As for the features, you got the lot, such as six-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, illuminated vanity mirrors and a trip computer further expand the cabin’s luxurious qualities.  In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including a Sat-Nav CD/Audio system.

Kia Optima Hybrid / Specifications

Exterior Dimensions

Overall Length:              4845 mm

Width:                           1830 mm

Height:                          1450 mm

Wheel base:                  2795 mm

Powertrain / 2.4-litre Hybrid

Petrol engine

Capacity/type                2.4-litre, DOHC, 16-valve

Power                           168 ps / 166 hp

Torque                          209 Nm / 154 lb ft

Electric motor

Power                           40.7 ps / 30 kW

Torque                          205 Nm / 151 lb ft

Combined System

Power                           209 ps / 206.2 hp

Torque                          265 Nm / 195.4 lb ft

Transmission

Automatic                     6-speed (without torque converter)

Clutch                           Wet type, laminated

Weights & Capacities

Kerb weight                   1,583 kg

Fuel tank                       65 litres

Boot                             280 litres

Fuel Economy*

Urban                           43 mpg

Extra-urban                   48 mpg

Combined                     45 mpg

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(Founder / Chief Editor / Journalist) – Arman is the original founder of Motorward.com, which he kept until August 2009. Currently Arman is our chief editor and is held responsible for a large part of the news we publish.