NEW YORK: The new Kia Optima has been introduced at the New York International Auto Show. But the question is whether it will be launched from South African shores or not?
Kia Motors South Africa says the decision on whether the all-new Optima will be introduced to the local market will be made in the final quarter of 2015 (the previous model quietly fell away some time ago).
If the new mid-size sedan does get the go-ahead from Kia’s SA bosses, it should hit local showroom within the first three months of 2016.
The global unveiling, meanwhile, revealed that the new Optima will be available with three petrol engine choices, including a new 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (making an estimated 131kW and 264Nm) mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Two power plants are carried over from the previous generation: the 2.4-litre engine and the 2.0-litre turbo mill (each mated to six-speed automatic transmissions).
The new model boasts exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 2804.16mm, while the vehicle has been widened to 1859.28mm. Both changes enable a roomier cabin and more impressive luggage space.