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By Mark Kleis

Like the Paris Motor Show, the Los Angeles Auto Show appears to be shaping up to have quite an offering as Kia has confirmed today that a hybrid version of the upcoming 2011 Optima will make its debut in November.

Kia first officially unveiled the next Optima at the 2010 New York Auto Show, but the hybrid variant was nowhere to be seen in the Big Apple. Today we got confirmation during the media launch event for the 2011 Optima that a hybrid variant will in fact bow in November at the LA Auto Show.

The 2011 Optima is based on the same platform as the recently introduced Hyundai Sonata, and promises outstanding fuel economy and performance to go along with its stunning new look. Underhood, the Optima's powertrain offerings mirror that of the all-new Sonata.

That means buyers will be able to choose from a 200 horsepower 2.4-liter, a turbocharged 2.0-liter delivering 274 horsepower and 34 mpg, and a fuel-sipping hybrid system. Set to hit the market in 2011, the Optima Hybrid will mark the brand's first gas-electric model.

All-new design language

Designed at Kia's Frankfurt and Irvine, California studios, the Optima continues Kia's bold new styling direction. The 2011 Optima is lower, wider and longer than the current model, and also features a sleek, coupe-like roofline.

“The all-new Optima is a new strand in Kia’s growing design DNA with a blend of simple and fluid lines and elegant but uncomplicated shapes that draw the attention of the eye in much the same fashion as a perfectly-tailored fine Italian suit,” said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors Corporation. “From the distinctive sweeping chrome accent that stretches through the C pillars to the sleek greenhouse and flared wheel arches, every inch of the Optima projects a distinguished and refined style and extreme attention to detail.”

Attention to detail

Inside, the Optima continues that attention to detail, with an interior far more luxurious than the outgoing model. Standard features include Sirius Satellite radio, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth wireless technology. Kia's new UVO system will be on offer.

Kia has yet to release pricing for the standard 2011 Optima, but expect a starting price near the $20,000 mark - with the hybrid carrying a several thousand dollar premium over that.



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Report: Kia Optima hybrid headed for LA Auto Show

by Chris Shunk (RSS feed) on Sep 22nd 2010 at 9:00AM

We're still trying to stay on top of everything being officially unveiled next week at the Paris Motor Show, but it looks like we may also need to keep an eye trained on the LA Auto Show as well. Auto Guide is reporting that Kia will officially unveil the Optima Hybrid on the left coast, giving Hyundai's smaller sibling an entry in the battery-assisted market.

The Optima Hybrid is sure to be powered by the very same 169-horsepower 2.4-liter Theta II engine mated to a 30 kW electric motor that thriftily motivates the Sonata Hybrid. If that is indeed the case, we expect the same impressive fuel economy figures of 39 miles per gallon around town and 37 mpg on the highway, along with an electric-only top speed of 62 miles per hour.

With a hybrid variant set to join the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter base model and the 274 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo variant, the Optima looks to be quite the upstart in the always competitive midsized sedan segment. The Optima Hybrid will reportedly go on sale early in 2011.



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