2011 KIA Optima Hybrid In World Premiere At Los Angeles Auto Show 2010
The Koreans have ambitious plans to conquer the North-American market with eco cars. Hyundai – KIA Group presented at Los Angeles Auto Show 2010 KIA Optima Hybrid version that joins its “cousin” Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
In North America, the Korean group, Hyundai – KIA attacks the 4 door coupe Volkswagen Passat CC with the American version of Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. But VW Passat sedan also has something to fight with: KIA Optima.
The Koreans prove they are dynamic, entering in force on the eco sedans field. First, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was launched, and now, at Los Angels Auto Show 2010, KIA Optima Hybrid had its world premier.
The new version counts on a combination between a 2.4-liter petrol engine a 30 kW electric motor, the total power reaching 206 HP, while the maximum torque will have a value of 195 lb-ft. The interesting thing is that in full electric mode (available up to 60 mph) KIA Optima Hybrib develops 40 HP and 151 lb-ft of torque.
Therefore, Korean hybrid sedan accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, while the top speed is of 121 mph. Maybe it doesn’t sound so good in terms of performances, but the fuel consumption will make you think twice.
KIA Optima Hybrid has an average mileage of 38.5 mpg, 40% less than the version featuring the same petrol engine. In the city, Optima Hybrid has a mileage of 36.2 mpg and on the highway the fuel consumption is of 40.5 mpg. Promising numbers, especially for the North-American customers.
The link between the engine and the electric motor is made via a special clutch, prioritizing the electric motor at start or at constant low speeds. Generally, the hybrid car is powered by the petrol engine, the electric motor working as an energy generator to recharge the batteries, but also as a help while on slopes, in order to keep the fuel consumption as low as possible.
The start – stop system is not mission or the kinetic energy recovery system. KIA Optima Hybrid feature lithium-polymer batteries, developed in Korea, holding their charge up to 25% longer than the nickel-metal batteries used by Toyota, for example. The transmission is automatic, with 6 gears, and very compact.
As a whole, KIA Optima Hybrid’s drive train has a small size and low weight, giving the car good agility for a sedan in the same segment. Although the prices were not yet announced, KIA Optima Hybrid will be available for buy in United States in start of 2011.