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Kia to unveil Optima Sportswagon in Geneva

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 18 February 2016

NOT satisfied with showing off its all-new Niro dedicated hybrid and the Optima Hybrid at next month’s Geneva show, Kia has announced the pair will be joined by the Optima Sportswagon, its first-ever D-segment tourer.

The company says the Sportswagon draws inspiration from the SPORTSPACE concept – shown for the first time at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

The production version offers 553-litre cargo capacity and versatile 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats; high strength bodyshell and intuitive technologies to improve safety and a new infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities.

The Korean car maker says it will have a smooth ride with responsive handling and electronically controlled suspension is an option.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The Optima has come to define Kia globally, and is credited with kick-starting the brand’s design-led transformation.

“The SPORTSPACE concept from 2015 was a clear intention of where we wanted to take the Optima next, and the Sportswagon adds an extra level of style and practicality to the well-received saloon.”

The Optima Sportswagon will be available with a choice of efficient and responsive petrol and diesel powertrains, including a high-powered GT model.

Kia's Sportswagon offers 553 litres of cargo space. Images: Kia

Kia’s Sportswagon offers 553 litres of cargo space. Images: Kia

Fron pictures released, the Sportswagon has a long, lean and dynamic profile. It retains the same width (1,860 mm) and length (4,855 mm) as the saloon, but is 5mm taller to accommodate the expanded boot.

At the rear of the car, wide LED tail lamps wrap around the corners of the bodywork. The rear bumper houses a single oval exhaust and features an integrated air diffuser, for a sporty finish.

The driver-focused interior is packed with the company’s latest electrotrickey.

The cabin is finished with a high proportion of soft-touch materials, cloth and leather trim in natural tones, and metallic accents. High levels of soundproofing reduce driver fatigue during long journeys and when travelling over broken surfaces.

The driver will be assisted by Kia’s latest audio-visual navigation (AVN) system, available with 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment – the latter when specified with the satellite navigation system. DAB digital radio, which is available across a number of European markets, is fully supported with Kia’s AVN.

The Optima Sportswagon will additionally be among first Kia models to feature Android Auto, designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, and Apple CarPlay for iPhone 5 or newer. Both systems feature voice control and allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road ahead at all times.

The AVN system also offers the full Kia Connected Services package, with up-to-date, driver-oriented information. Provided by technology company TomTom, the broad range of available connectivity features includes live traffic updates, speed camera alerts, local search and weather forecasts. In Europe, the system will be available to Optima Sportswagon buyers free of charge for seven years after the car’s purchase.

The touchscreen infotainment system is paired with a six-speaker audio system as standard, while music lovers can also specify a powerful 590-watt Harman Kardon Premium Sound system, with eight speakers, an external amplifier and subwoofer, and Clari-Fi MP3 restoration technology.

Depending on market, other available features will include: 360-degree Around View Monitor, with four cameras helping the driver to manoeuvre when parking by displaying a birds-eye view of the Optima Sportswagon on the touchscreen; Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS), which parks the car automatically in parallel and perpendicular spaces and helps drivers safely leave a parking space; and Dynamic Bending Headlamps, which sweep the road ahead in line with the steering wheel for greater visibility and improved safety at night.

Safety is enhanced with a high strength bodyshell with active safety technologies and Kia are looking for no less than five stars from Euro NCAP testing.

Inside a strong bodyshell, passive occupant safety is assured with driver, driver knee, passenger, two front side and two curtain airbags all fitted as standard.

The Sportswagon’s suite of new active safety technologies designed to avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision include Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) as standard, ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering if it detects a loss of traction.

Optional active hazard-avoidance technologies include:

Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC), which automatically adjusts the Optima’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front; Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which employs a long-range radar detection system to detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the car to a halt; Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), which detects the Optima’s position in relation to lane markings and takes automatic corrective action if it senses the car starting to draft without the use of indicators; High Beam Assist (HBA), which automatically adjusts headlamp range according to other vehicles and road conditions; Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF), displaying the speed limit in the driver’s instrument cluster based on cameras detecting roadside signs; Blind Spot Detection (BSD), with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the driver’s blind spot; Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which warns against other cars driving behind the Optima in car parks while reversing.

The Optima Sportswagon’s AEB system is unique in its segment in Europe for offering not just a short-range radar, but also a longer-range unit which is able to identify cars and pedestrians further away and at higher speeds than many competitors.

The short-range ‘City’ radar helps drivers to avoid or mitigate the effects of front collisions when travelling under 50 kph, while the longer-range ‘Urban’ radar enables the Optima Sportswagon to detect and respond to obstacles at speeds between 30 and 80 kph. The AEB system’s pedestrian-detection function is designed to identify pedestrians when travelling up to 60 kph and reduce the risk of a collision.

The front-wheel drive Optima Sportswagon will be available with a range of Euro 6-compliant petrol and diesel engines — a 1.7-litre CRDi (139hp, 340NM toeque) diesel or 2.0-litre CVVL petrol engine (160hp).

The high-powered Optima Sportswagon GT features Kia’s new 2.0-litre T-GDI GT petrol engine, which transmits engine power through a six-speed automatic.

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