2016 Kia Optima Hybrid revealed, plug-in hybrid detailed

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The latest-generation Kia Optima Hybrid has been revealed, while the company has also detailed the Optima Plug-in Hybrid that’s due to be launched globally next year. The Optima Hybrid features a 115kW/189Nm 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder engine under the bonnet. This is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a built-in 38kW electric motor. With both motors working together, the Hybrid is said to have a total of 143kW of power in total. A new generation 1.62kWh lithium polymer battery feeds the electric motor. Located underneath the boot floor, the new battery pack gives the latest Optima Hybrid more usable trunk space than before, and also allows it retain the standard car’s 60/40 split-fold rear seats. Under the latest fuel consumption guidelines from the Korean government, the new Optima Hybrid is said to drink 5.5L/100km in the combined fuel cycle. Kia has also provided details about the upcoming Optima Plug-in Hybrid, which goes on sale during the second half of 2016, and it will be the company’s first globally available PHEV. The Optima PHEV features the same 115kW/189Nm 2.0-litre direct-injection as the Hybrid, but this time it’s paired to a 50kW electric motor, which is once again nestled in the six-speed automatic transmission. A larger 9.8kWh lithium polymer battery should ensure that it has around 43 kilometres of range in pure EV mode. Kia says that the Optima Plug-in Hybrid can be fully recharged within three hours from a 240V Level 2 charging station. Visually both the Optima Hybrid and PHEV are distinguished by new alloy wheels, hybrid badging, blue-tinged highlights, and thinner, lower rolling resistance tyres. Up front, both cars also feature a reactive grille that’s closed off to improve aerodynamics in most situations, but which automatically opens up when extra cooling is required. The Optima PHEV also features a charging port flap in one of its front fenders, and a charge indicator, visible from the outside, on the top of its dashboard. According to Kevin Hepworth, general manager of communications at Kia Australia, both models are unlikely for the Australian market for the foreseeable future. The Optima PHEV, as well as the Niro hybrid SUV, will play a key part in the Korean brand’s plans to grow its green car range from four models at present to 11 by 2020. Note: Only the Kia Optima Hybrid is pictured in this article.