The previous generation Optima was offered with a petrol electric drivetrain in select markets, but not Australia, and the new model is set to improve the previous car’s figures by 10 percent, although the final consumption figures are still being worked on.
The new Optima Hybrid pairs a 115kW 2.0 litre direct injected engine with a 38kW motor mounted in the housing for the six-speed automatic, resulting in a combined 143kW output.
The new boot-mounted lithium-polymer battery pack has a capacity of 1.62kWh, 13 percent larger than before, and has been packaged beneath the boot floor so as not to intrude on boot space, and to retain the split folding rear seat.
The Optima PHEV runs the same petrol engine, but pairs it with a 50kW electric motor and 9.8kWh lithium-polymer battery, enough to give the Optima PHEV an expected 45km range of electric-only running.
A full charge is expected to take less than three hours from a 240V ‘level 2’ charging point, and fuel economy should be as low as 2.4 l/100km. In charge-sustaining mode, the Optima PHEV is expected to return 5.8 l/100km.
The new green models will stand out from the regular Optima range thanks to an active grille, unique silver and blue exterior touches, and ‘EcoHybrid’ or ‘EcoPlugin’ badging. The PHEV also receives chrome sill trim, and a charge port on the left-front guard.
Inside the PHEV receives a unique instrument cluster that can deliver information about the vehicle’s drive mode and charge status, while a charge indicator on the top of the dash give an at-a-glance indication of the vehicle’s charge progress from inside or outside the vehicle.
The new Optima hybrid range will form a part of Kia’s global vision to increase fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 25 percent by 2020, with Kia’s range of green vehicles set to grow from four to 11 model over the next five years.