(SEOUL) August 26, 2011 — Two motorists are preparing to drive a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records this week as they aim to set a new record for lowest fuel consumption (in a petrol hybrid car) while driving through all 48 adjoining states of America.
Taking on the epic 8000 mile (13,000km) fuel economy driving challenge will be experienced fuel economy driver Wayne Gerdes and his colleague and friend Chris Bernius, who will be completing the journey in a factory-standard Kia Optima Hybrid four-door sedan.
The record attempt will see the drivers depart from Kia Motors’ manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, on August 26, travelling through the 48 adjoining states in a clockwise direction, before finishing in South Carolina just 16 days later, on September 10.
Kia fans wishing to track the drivers’ progress will be able to receive live updates via Kia’s Twitter feed (@Kia_Motors) and a specially-developed Facebook app on Kia’s Worldwide page:https://www.facebook.com/Kiamotorsworldwide
Photos, video footage and a written blog will be uploaded to the page on a daily basis from August 26. The Facebook app will also enable visitors to explore the drivers’ route in detail, find out further information on the Kia Optima Hybrid and will also offer some best practice tips for motorists to achieve better fuel economy in their own vehicles.
Senior Executive Vice-President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said, “Fuel economy is becoming increasingly important to car buyers all around the world, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is one of our latest models to address this consumer requirement.
“Driving through all 48 adjoining US states is the ultimate ‘real-world’ challenge, but the Kia Optima Hybrid gives the drivers the very best chance of setting a Guinness World Record, as it has been specifically designed to achieve maximum fuel economy in all driving conditions, not just in the city.”
The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first hybrid vehicle in the US market and went on sale in East- and West-coast regions in June 2011, priced from US$26,500, with national availability by the end of 2011. A European version – which mates the electric motor to a smaller, 2.0-litre gasoline engine – is expected to go on sale in some markets in 2012.
The 2.4-litre Optima Hybrid employs a unique and innovative parallel petrol-electric hybrid powertrain developed by Kia that delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, a top speed of 195 kph (121 mph), plus highly-competitive fuel economy equivalent to a 40.7 per cent fuel consumption improvement over the standard Optima EX model in the USA.