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Korean star unveiled at Aussie Open

January 27, 2011 / 1393 /

Kia Motors Australia has unveiled an all new medium passenger vehicle at the 2011 Australian Open.

Kia Optima

The new Kia Optima replaces the Magentis but is a clean sheet design in every aspect and showcases a number of the Korean manufacturer’s latest innovations.

The single model being imported into Australia features the new ‘Schreyer’ design DNA and is loaded with features and creature comforts which Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow says will provide the vehicle with a strong showroom presence.

“Kia’s product concept behind the creation of new Optima had focused on four key areas,” Mr Barlow said. “Stand-out styling – a unique exterior with a driver-oriented interior, class-leading performance – down-sized but more efficient engines with six-speed transmissions, superior packaging – new, longer wheelbase platform and advanced features – high-tech options to boost Optima’s status and Kia’s brand identity.

“Everything about the Optima is new and exciting. The gasoline direct injection engine took two years and US$145million to develop. It’s light, powerful and economical and when matched to the new Kia six-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and steering mounted paddle shifters, it’s exciting to drive.”

The Optima being imported into Australia is a high spec Platinum powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.4-litre GDI Theta II engine which produces 148kW at 6300rpm and 250Nm of torque at 4250rpm. While the new power plant offers smooth power it also meets the EURO IV emissions requirements and boasts a combined fuel consumption of 7.9L/100km.

At a glance the sleek, lower, longer, wider Schreyer design with body coloured bumpers, door handles and side mirrors is a head-turner.

“Styling has been one of the foundation stones of Kia’s global success over the past two years and in the Optima it is clear to see the defining look that now has Kia producing cars of desire,” Kia Motors Australia President CEO Mr M.K Kim said.

“That styling maturity has been recognised by a string of design awards, the most recent being the prestigious global iF Good Design Award for both Optima and Sportage.

“The stunning good looks coupled to quality engineering and unbeatable value make a compelling argument for our brand.”

LED daytime running rights make the Optima highly visible to other vehicles while the raked windscreen and three-panelled panoramic glass sunroof provide the cabin with a glasshouse feel.

High intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels and rear spoiler add to the new Optima’s visual presence.

The interior of the Optima is aircraft cockpit inspired. The centre stack instrument panel is contoured toward the driver (at a 9.6 degree angle) to produce a wrap-around cockpit feel.

A high centre console with paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel confirm that Optima is built for people who are passionate about driving their cars. The shapes of the centre console and centre armrest are also angled towards the driver.

The interior consists of black leather and wood look trim and features Kia’s latest dual zone automatic climate control air-conditioning with rear vents.

Both front seats offer power adjustment (driver 8-way / passenger 4-way), and a heated cushion and backrest.  In addition, the driver’s seat features powered lumbar support and cool ventilation. The 60/40 folding rear seat backrests are standard and can be folded down for greater seating and cargo carrying versatility, depending on driver and passenger needs.

Optima is equipped with the latest Infinity® premium sound system which runs seven speakers, including a 4-inch centre speaker plus a 8-inch sub-woofer through an external amplifier. In addition to a radio/CD player with MP3, USB and iPod connectivity, it features a 6-CD changer and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The radio antenna is discreetly integrated within the rear window glass.

Other standard high-tech ‘comfort and convenience’ features include a smart key for keyless entry, together with an engine start/stop button, ‘welcome home’ escort lights and LED side repeaters in electric folding side mirrors.

The list of active and passive safety features includes ABS with electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist (BA) and electronic stability control (ESC), six SRS airbags and the new tailgate-mounted reversing safety camera fitted with a 130-degree, wide-angle lens which transmits images to an LCD display set within the interior rear-view mirror.

This enables the driver to simultaneously check the rear view mirror and the blind spot immediately behind the car. A rear warning sensor also helps the driver to avoid contact with pedestrians and other vehicles by triggering an audible warning whenever the Optima is approaching an obstruction.

Kia optima brisbane

The new Kia Optima received the highest possible crash safety rating of “Good” in all four tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the US and has been recognized as a “Top Safety Pick,” the top award handed down by the organization.  A 5-Star rating in Euro NCAP’s crash tests is anticipated in April 2011.

The new Optima will be available in seven exterior colours: Snow White Pearl, Bright Silver, Ebony Black, Platinum Graphite, Satin Metal, Santorini Blue and Spicy Red and will sell for $36,990 RRP (excl. statutory charges & dealer delivery).

Kia fleet keeps Australian Open on the move

January 27, 2011 / 1906 /

Kia Motors’ long-running support of the Australian Open tennis continued today with the handing over of 101 specially-equipped courtesy vehicles to keep the tournament’s players, officials and guests on the move.

kia tennis

In handing over the Kia Courtesy Fleet to Tennis Australia’s CEO Steve Wood, KMAu President and CEO M.K. Kim reiterated Kia’s ongoing support for tennis in Australia.

“Kia is a proud sponsor of the Australian Open, one of the world’s great sporting events, but more than that we are very pleased to be involved with the sport at many other levels in Australia, “Mr Kim said.  “Through Tennis Australia Kia supports the junior coaching program to help identify and develop the next generation of Australian Open stars.

“And there is the Kia Amateur Australian Open, an annual opportunity for a young player to share in the excitement of the main event playing against qualifiers from 15 other countries in the second week of the Australian Open.”

Accepting the Kia Courtesy Fleet on behalf of Tennis Australia, Mr Wood acknowledged the importance of the Kia cars to the logistic success of the Australian Open.

“Kia Motors makes a huge contribution to the running of the Australian Open and I am once again very pleased to accept this courtesy fleet.”

“The sight of the Kia fleet ferrying players, media and officials around Melbourne is synonymous with the Australian Open and contributes to the tangible excitement and buzz that the event brings to the city of Melbourne.”

The majority of the courtesy fleet_73 vehicles_are Australia’s favourite people-mover, the multi-award winning Kia Grand Carnival which can move up to eight people in comfort.

Also on the fleet are Kia’s exciting new mid-sized sedan, the Optima, the award-winning SUV pair of Sportage and Sorento, the Cerato small car and the eye-catching Soul.

The Kia courtesy fleet will be driven by about 20 specially trained volunteer drivers who expect to clock up more than 300,000 kilometres in thousands of journeys during the 2011 Australian Open.

Kia sales growth double that of local market

January 27, 2011 / 1701 /

Kia Motors Australia finished 2010 just how it started the year: another strong month of sales growth across the passenger and SUV segments.

kia motors

During 2010 Kia sold 23848 vehicles, an increase of 22.9% compared to 2009 and more than double the Australian new car market increase of 10.5%.

“Kia passenger sales were up 2373 units or some 15% compared to 2009 while in the competitive SUV segment, our sales were up a very pleasing 63.1% which was well ahead of the segment growth of 25%,” said Kia Motors Australia COO, Mr Tony Barlow.

“In 2011 that trend will continue as new efficient engines are incorporated into sleeker Schreyer-designed Kia vehicles. Our local product development team will also continue to optimise all new Kia vehicles to ensure they meet the high standard expected by the discerning Australian driver.”

In the passenger segment, the introduction of the 5-door Cerato to the Kia family provided a healthy sales rush. December saw 328 Ceratos retailed, 62% more than December 2009. Total sales for the year were up by 33.4%.

Kia Carnival continued its domination of people movers under $40,000 with 277 December sales providing it with 30.9% market share in the category.

In the SUV segment a successful run-out campaign and then the arrival of the award-winning all-new Sportage saw the compact SUV’s figures increase by 60.8% compared to 2009 sales results.

In terms of a year-on-year increase in sales the accolades go to Kia Sorento which showed a 66.6% improvement throughout 2010.

The roll out of new and exciting vehicles continues for Kia throughout 2011 with its first launch, the all-new Optima, to take place at the Australian Tennis Open later this month.

With its sleek appearance, a brand new direct injection petrol engine and a long list of factory fitted extras the new Optima will appear on showroom floors towards the end of January.

“With the determination of Kia to produce ever more stylish and exciting cars we are confident that the positive change in customer perception of Kia as a brand will continue,” KMAu Presdent and CEO Mr M.K. Kim said.

“While Kia will never desert our promise of outstanding value, more and more we believe people will consider Kia as a purchase of desire rather than necessity.”

Kia Sorento receives high tech upgrade

November 11, 2010 / 1934 /

Kia Sorento

Kia’s medium sized SUV, Sorento, has received a 2011 model year refresh across the range with a long list of enhancements ranging from Bluetooth technology to leather wrapped instrument cluster housing.

All vehicles across the Sorento range from the entry level Si to the range topping Platinum will receive the latest Bluetooth technology providing hands-free mobile phone connectivity and media streaming, all operated through steering wheel mounted controls.

“Kia Motors is constantly working with, and forming strategic partnerships with, technology suppliers who can make the Kia experience more enjoyable for our customers,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Tony Barlow

“As new technology becomes available and if it passes our stringent quality controls, we make it accessible to our customers as quickly as possible.”

Other refinements across the range include a headlamp escort function where low beam illuminates the ground in front of the car at night after it has been turned off, providing occupants with enough light to get from the car to the house safely.

The top two models receive upgraded in-mirror display rear view camera offering a higher resolution image and parking guide lines, making the accidental ‘touch park’ a thing of the past.

Also on the SLi and Platinum models, the instrument cluster housing has received a new leather wrap and the front passenger window is now automatic both up and down with a built-in safety function.

The Platinum’s panoramic sunroof is now alarmed which is activated when the car is “OFF” and the driver’s door is opened.

Recommended Retail Pricing for the Sorento Si remains unchanged with the 2WD automatic, 2.4-litre petrol staying at $36,490 just like its 2.2-litre diesel counterparts in manual and automatic which also remain unchanged at $39,990 and $41,990 respectively.

The 2.2-litre diesel automatic SLi and Platinum models receive the list of enhancements for an additional $200 making the new recommended retail prices $46,190 and $49,190 respectively.

Electric KIA Pop concept debuts at Paris motor show

November 11, 2010 / 1473 /

Kia Pop

(SEOUL) September 30, 2010 – Kia Motors celebrated the world premiere of its all-new, eye-catching, compact electric POP concept car at the 106thMondial de l’Automobile in Paris.

Spotlighting Kia’s increasing focus on striking design and new technologies, the chrome-coloured, three-metre-long three-seater POP with its electric drivetrain, oblong-shaped side windows and front-hinged doors took centre stage on Kia’s Paris Show stand.

Unconventional features of POP – the striking side-window design, the high-tech feel of the dot-pattern head and taillights, back-lit front grille, rear-view cameras in each door, full-length glass roof, and the simplistic look of the wheels – all point to inspiration from outside the usual automotive spheres, such as gliders and high-speed bicycles.

Inside, the purple colour scheme creates a calm and peaceful environment within the space-ship like cabin.  Facing the driver, a small piece of plexi-glass in front of the steering wheel shows a Transparent Organic LED (TOLED) display for speed, battery charge, and the other main readouts, when the car is running.  At other times it is totally transparent.

To the right of the steering wheel, a sculpted, chrome-look panel features only one button, with every other function (audio, sat-nav, climate control, etc) controlled via an animated touch screen.

The front seat is a sculpted bench, with interesting, flowing lines, while the rear seat is positioned at an offset angle, resulting in remarkable legroom for a 1740 mm wide car with a wheelbase of just 2055 mm.  Designed to accommodate a single passenger, this seat is a two-part affair, with a base that flips up when not in use and a backrest and a headrestraint integrated into the headlining.

POP is a fully-electric, zero-emissions car with a 50kW, 190Nm motor.  It’s powered by highly efficient, compact lithium polymer gel batteries and is fully rechargeable in just six hours.  Top speed is 140 kph, with a maximum range of 160 km on a single charge.

The POP concept was designed by Kia’s European design team under the direction of Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer, and Gregory Guillaume, Kia Europe’s Chief Designer.

“A concept car like the POP could only have come from Kia,” explains Guillaume. “Designers very rarely have the opportunity to start from a clean sheet of paper and it’s great to be in a position to operate with such freedom.”

New European versions for Sportage and Optima

In addition to POP, Kia is hosting the European debuts of the all-new Kia Optima sedan and new versions of the Kia Sportage at the Paris Show – production models which reinforce the company’s commitment to developing its design language – and putting this into practice with real-world models.

Embodying what Peter Schreyer calls “a bold, athletic and visual sporting energy”, the Kia Optima sedans on display feature Europe-specific high-tech powertrains and introduce Kia’s new ‘U2’ 1.7-litre VGT diesel engine (100kW) and the all-new technically-advanced ‘Nu’ 2.0-litre CVVL (continuously variable valve lift) gasoline engine (125kW).

Building on the immensely positive response of media and public to the new Kia Sportage, the model line-up is being expanded to offer two smaller capacity engines with fuel-stretching technology and exclusively matched to 2WD drivetrains and six-speed manual transmissions.  For Sportage, Kia’s new 1.7-litre ‘U2’ diesel engine is tuned to generate 85kW while the 1.6-litre ‘Gamma’ gasoline engine delivers 100kW.

Both new engines will offer emissions and running costs that are among the very best in class.

Demonstrating Kia’s ongoing commitment to minimising its vehicles’ impact on the environment, the manufacturer’s Paris stand also features three environmentally-focused vehicles in a special ‘green zone’.  The Kia cee’d and Venga low emissions future production models, and an innovative mild-hybrid Kia Sportage concept – have an average CO2 figure of just 108 g/km.


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