Set to take on the likes of the new Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat when it goes on sale in Europe towards the end of this year, the fourth-generation Optima is based on the same platform as the Hyundai i40.
Kia describes the new car as being "passionately designed and obsessively crafted," and says the Optima range "has become a catalyst for the brand’s tremendous growth around the globe."
Showing clear design inspiration from recent Kia models, the fourth-generation Optima features a thinner, elongated interpretation of the firm's 'Tiger Nose' grille, as well as larger lower air vents. The new model gets a more aggressive rear bumper design than today's Optima, too.
As well revising the exterior styling, Kia is understood to have lifted the overall fit and finish of the Optima's cabin, with spy pictures revealing a new centre console design. The Korean firm says "the all-new Optima features a more spacious interior, premium features from the class above and a number of technologies not previously offered."
Elements from Geneva's Sportspace concept car, such as its large freestanding infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster, could also be used. The Sportspace previews the Optima estate, which will go on sale soon after the saloon.
Powering the new model in Europe will be a revised version of the current Optima's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine. In the current car, that engine produces 134bhp and 321lb ft.
Joining the range soon after launch should be a new diesel-electric hybrid variant of the Optima. Kia previewed the technology with its Optima T-Hybrid concept at the Paris motor show last year, and again on the Sportspace concept car.
The mild hybrid powertrain mates the Optima's existing 1.7-litre turbodiesel engine to a small electric motor.
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