Kia Australia has unveiled its upcoming flagship sedan, the 2011 Kia Optima, ahead of its Australian showroom debut early next year.
Kia's answer to partner Hyundai's recently-launched i45, the striking new Optima - seen in the metal at the Australian International Motor Show - was initially expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year. It has now been pushed back to an early 2011 launch.
Conceived at Kia's Californian studios and built on the same platform as the new Hyundai i45, the new Optima is considerably larger than its predecessor.
"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," Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer for Kia said.
"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."
In Europe, the new Optima is powered by a range of engines include the company's new 100kW 'U2' 1.7 litre VGT diesel engine and a 125kW 2.0 litre CVVL petrol engine.
A hybrid model has also been confirmed internationally for early 2011, utilising the same hybrid technology featuring in the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
Two transmissions will be offered overseas, including a six-speed manual and the company's new six-speed automatic with Sportmatic shifting.
Australian pricing and specifications have yet to be confirmed, but more information is likely to be revealed closer to the Optima's local launch next year.