The New Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

The new Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, and will go on sale across Europe from Q3 2017. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is the latest model to join Kia’s growing line up of innovative low-emissions vehicles.

The new derivative combines the versatility of the conventional Optima Sportswagon with the high-efficiency powertrain found in the Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan, introduced in the third quarter of 2016. The new model provides buyers with 440 litres (VDA, with rear seats in upright position) of cargo space – 133 litres more than the Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan.

With Kia development teams targeting a pure electric range of over 61 kilometres (combined, New European Driving Cycle) before its 2.0-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine kicks in, the new model could emit just 34 g/km CO2 (combined, NEDC), ensuring low running costs and maximum practicality for private and fleet buyers. Final electric range and CO2 emissions figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “We expanded the Optima range in the third quarter of 2016 with new Optima Sportswagon and Plug-in Hybrid sedan versions – each respectively accounting for 62 per cent and 13 per cent of Optima sales. With a clear demand for both of these models, the Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid combines the benefits of the two and completes the Optima line-up.

“The introduction of eco-friendly vehicles such as the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will ensure Kia remains on course to achieve its mission of improving average fleet fuel efficiency by 25 per cent by 2020, compared to 2014 levels.”

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is one of two low-emissions vehicles launched by Kia at the Geneva International Motor Show, together with the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid compact crossover.

Targeted 61-kilometre plus pure-electric range, 34 g/km CO2 emissions, and efficient packaging

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 11.26kWh lithium-polymer battery pack paired with a 50kW electric motor, providing a provisional pure-electric range of more than 61km (38 miles) at speeds of up to 120kph. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will be among the leaders in the D-segment for pure-electric range capability.

The powertrain employs Kia’s efficient 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI engine, generating 115kW and 189Nm. Coupled with the electric motor, it allows the car to operate in charge-sustaining mode once the battery runs out of charge. The powertrain’s total power output is / 151kW at 6000rpm, with a high torque output of 375Nm from just 2330rpm, providing acceleration from 0-to-100 kph in 9.7 seconds.

Power is applied to the road through a six-speed automatic gearbox, with the transmission-mounted 50kW electric motor replacing the traditional torque converter.

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid’s next-generation battery system features a 11.26kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, offering a blend of highly-efficient electric and internal combustion power, and a consistently high level of performance. The efficient packaging of the battery pack – which is located beneath the boot floor – allows the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid to give buyers a generous 440-litre (VDA, seats in upright position) cargo capacity, which becomes 1574-litres (VDA) with the rear seats folded flat.

Kia development teams have targeted carbon dioxide emissions of 34 g/km (combined, NEDC), and fuel economy of 1.5 litres per 100 km (combined, NEDC). Final figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Maximum range from fuel-saving and energy harvesting technologies

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a series of innovations to enhance battery efficiency. These include two key technologies to save and regenerate battery power – regenerative braking and an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Kia’s advanced HVAC system, employs a smart air intake system which provides ventilation and heating to the driver area only, shutting off ventilation to other areas of the car to reduce the load on the battery and increase range. Kia’s regenerative braking system allows the car to harvest kinetic energy while coasting or braking.

Design and technology 

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid shares common design features with the Plug-in Hybrid sedan, with reprofiled, more aerodynamically-efficient bumpers, side skirts and wheels, chrome brightwork, and ‘ECO plug-in’ badging.

Inside, a new driver instrument cluster displays key information about the powertrain – such as the battery’s state of charge and feedback on driving efficiency. The car is equipped with Kia’s latest audio-visual navigation (AVN) technology, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system displaying current EV range and the location of nearby charging stations. The AVN system is also available with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, as well as Kia Connected Services powered by TomTomTM, providing live traffic updates, speed camera alerts and weather forecasts. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is available with Kia’s wireless smartphone charger, letting users charge mobile devices on the move.

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is available with a suite of active safety technologies designed to avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision. Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) is fitted 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. Other optional active hazard-avoidance technologies include Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)*.

2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid on-sale from Q3 2017 

The new Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale across Europe in Q3 2017 and is manufactured for European markets at Kia’s plant in Hwasung, Korea. The car is sold as standard with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty, which also covers the battery pack.