Kia Launches 2011 Optima with Hybrid Option

Kia Motors America (KMA) has launched the all-new 2011 Optima midsize sedan, first seen during the 2010 New York International Auto Show. (Earlier post.) Set to arrive in retail showrooms in early fall, the next generation Optima features three new powertrains including the brand’s first-ever hybrid in the US (available in 2011).

The new Optima shares the new Theta II-based powertrains featured in the new Hyundai Sonata: a 2.4-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) four-cylinder; a 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine (earlier post); and the 2.4-liter hybrid (earlier post).

The 2.4-liter GDI engine produces 200 hp (149 kW), and upgrading to the available 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine (EX Turbo and SX models) delivers V6-type power with a four-cylinder engine that produces 274 hp (204 kW), while mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This represents Kia’s first application of GDI technology.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder posts 24/35 mpg (city/highway) when mated to the manual transmission and 24/34 mpg when coupled with the automatic transmission, while the 2.0-liter turbo GDI offers 22/34 mpg, only available with the automatic transmission.

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