LAS VEGAS, November 1, 2011 – Coming off two historic motorsports championships in the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSSC), Kia Motors America (KMA) has announced plans to increase its racing footprint next year. KMA chose the SEMA Show to reveal its next step with a stunning 2012 5-door Rio B-Spec racer built by Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports, to compete in the newly established showroom stock racing class next year. Not content with that, Kia has also revealed a specially-outfitted Optima Hybrid built by GoGoGear.com to lead the field as the official pace car of the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC), a role previously filled by the funky Soul urban passenger vehicle since 2010.
“The Kia Racing program is just two years old, but with the Street Tuner Team and Driver championships already under our belt we are excited to expand to new forms of racing,” vice-president marketing and communications for KMA, Michael Sprague, said. “The B-Spec series is a great way for grassroots racers and Kia enthusiasts to get involved in motorsports and experience the outstanding driving dynamics and class-leading horsepower the all-new Rio 5-door subcompact has to offer.
“In addition to B-spec, we’re also pleased to continue our relationship with the USTCC. The sporty and fuel efficient Optima Hybrid safety car built by GoGoGear.com is sure to turn heads and continue raising awareness, perception and consideration for the brand with passionate enthusiasts.”
The Rio 5-door B-Spec racecar will compete against a variety of subcompact competitors such as the Mazda2, Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta in a range of motorsports events sanctioned by various organizing bodies, including World Challenge, GRAND-AM, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA).
Showroom stock racing provides an affordable avenue for auto enthusiasts to participate in the excitement of competitive motorsports with a vehicle like the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door that is fun to drive, fuel efficient and stylish.
Once potential racers purchase their 2012 Rio 5-door, a B-Spec kit that costs $US14,000 is available for purchase from Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports, that includes everything needed to transform the 2012 Rio 5-door into a proper racecar: roll cage kit, racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, racing harness, race shocks, lightweight wheels, spec-series tires, oil sump pan expansion kit and complete build instructions.
As an option, the racer can have the team at Kinetic Motorsports assemble the Rio at their shop in Buford, Georgia for an additional $US6000.
GoGoGear.com USTCC Optima Hybrid Pace CarKia Racing has proven its mettle on the race track as a competitor, but the brand is no stranger to pace car duty either – the Kia Soul has been the official Safety Car of the USTCC since March 2010 and a 2011 Optima SX served as the official pace car for both the Rolex Sports Car Series “Grand Prix of Miami” and CTSCC races earlier this year at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For 2012, the stylish and fuel-efficient Optima Hybrid replaces the Soul at the front of the USTCC pack and will lead the field during warm-up and caution flag laps to ensure a safe start or restart of a race.
Already noted for delivering class-leading fuel economy,the crew at GoGoGear.com have added a free-flow air intake system, Magnaflow® exhaust system, coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, front splitter and rear wing, lightweight wheels and performance tyres that will better stick to the racing surface.
The USTCC Optima Hybrid also features an eye-catching exterior with a custom colour scheme, series graphics and an array of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID headlights, strobe lights and LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic while on duty.
Moving inside, a state-of-the-art, 2400-watt audio and video system is connected to Infinity®3 speakers and amplifiers and rear passengers can enjoy a DVD system with dual monitors in the front-seat headrests with wireless headphones. Adding to the Optima Hybrid’s newfound raciness are custom leather seats with green stitching to match the exterior trim colour. The Optima Hybrid Safety Car is scheduled to make its first USTCC appearance in March, 2012.
Kia Motors is one of the automotive industry’s current fuel economy leaders and today the brand is celebrating the setting of a new Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid gasoline vehicle, while driving through all 48 adjoining U.S. states.
Drivers Wayne Gerdes from Wadsworth, Illinois, and Chris Bernius from New York City, successfully piloted a factory-standard 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid sedan through a 7,899 mile route across America and achieved an incredible average fuel consumption of 64.55 mpg US (3.64 l/100 km), beating the car’s official EPA highway fuel consumption figure by 61.37 per cent.
Kia’s 48 state challenge was completed in 14 days driving an average of 564 miles per day. The Optima Hybrid used just over 5.5 tanks of gasoline to complete the route, recording an average distance of 1,418 miles between fill-ups. To comply with Guinness World Record guidelines, the Optima Hybrid had to carry two people and their luggage throughout the journey.
The record attempt was verified by Philip Robertson, Adjudicator at Guinness World Records, who also presented the drivers with their Guinness World Record certificate at an official handover ceremony at Kia Motors’ manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia on September 12.
The record set is officially titled “Lowest fuel consumption driving through all 48 contiguous U.S. states in a gasoline hybrid car,” which is a new category created by Guinness World Records. In order to qualify for a new record, the Kia Optima Hybrid was required to achieve a minimum of 52.27 mpg, which the fuel-sipping Optima Hybrid exceeded by 23 per cent.
After a send-off by local dignitaries and Kia team members on August 26 at Kia’s manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, the drivers departed on their epic journey in a clockwise direction, with the two drivers averaging approximately 564 miles per day. They finished their route in the city of Greenville, South Carolina, just over two weeks later on September 9. After a rigorous accreditation process by Guinness World Records, the drivers and car were transported to West Point for the closing ceremony and celebration.
Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, commented, “Kia Motors is deeply proud to have set a new Guinness World Record. It is testament to the quality of the design, engineering and production methods of the Kia Optima Hybrid. The drivers had to complete their unsupported drive through all kinds of American terrain and weather conditions and they did it without a single hitch from the Optima Hybrid while setting what is such an impressive fuel consumption figure.
“While travelling across the United States the Optima Hybrid experienced temperatures ranging from more than 118 degrees Fahrenheit to less than freezing point. The team climbed through the formidable Rocky mountain chain and negotiated rush hour traffic in Chicago, New York City and Las Vegas – which makes the Optima Hybrid’s fuel consumption figure all the more impressive,” added Mr Oh.
Record-breaking driver, Wayne Gerdes, said, “The Kia Optima Hybrid was the perfect vehicle for this long road trip. It is spacious, comfortable and fun-to-drive, and the parallel gasoline-electric powertrain provided considerable efficiency at highway speeds and the car performed flawlessly throughout the 7,899 mile drive.
“The remarkable economy figure we achieved included driving in all kinds of conditions, from straight open highway and deserts to gridlocked city traffic, so this really was the ultimate demonstration of the real-world fuel economy that any Optima Hybrid owner can achieve with attention to the details of their driving style.”
Followers and fans interested in exploring the route in more detail can view daily blogs, plus photo and video uploads via a specially-developed Facebook app at https://www.facebook.com/Kiamotorsworldwide, where driver Wayne Gerdes has also shared his top tips for achieving better fuel economy.
Kia’s widely lauded Optima has scored another tick for design with the bestowing of a Design Award at the gala Australian International Design Awards function in Melbourne.
The international judging panel praised the Optima’s sweeping lines, the many premium inclusions in the car and the outstanding value.
“Its sculptured forms and contrasting elements are fascinating,” the panel said. “Premium cues and very successful styling make this a lot of car for the money.”
Presented by Good Design Australia, the Australian International Design Awards is Australia’s foremost design endorsement scheme, rewarding companies that differentiate their products and services through design.
This year, 232 Australian and internationally-designed products were physically assessed by a panel of international design experts, with 127 making the finals. Of the finalists 47 products, ranging from an airline seat to a horse bit, were awarded a Design Award in recognition of design and innovation excellence.
The remaining 80 finalists were recognised as Good Design.
For a product or service to qualify for the Design Award trademark, it must exceed the five criteria for good design and additionally, meet the criterion for design excellence, innovation, in the expert opinion of the Design Awards judges.
Brandon Gien, Managing Director of Good Design Australia, said all entries underwent a thorough physical inspection assessing form, function, quality, safety, sustainability, innovation and best in class design.
“There are many products that are not good designs, there are quite a few that are a good design but very few that are excellent designs,” Mr Gien said. “Award winners are the result of unwavering dedication to good design and commitment to a professional design process. Innovation, creativity and attention to detail are clearly at the heart of each project.”
The Peter Schreyer designed Optima has previously won design recognition with a “Best Of The Best” accolade at this year’s Red Dot awards in Europe.
It is also ECOcar Australia’s reigning Car Of The Year.
Kia’s stunning Optima sedan has been given the judges’ tick of approval as a finalist for the prestigious Australian International Design Awards.
The Optima is one of 10 finalists for the Automotive and Transport category, one of eight categories with a record total of 127 finalists.
“Our esteemed judges spent a week assessing each entry against a common set of criteria, focussing on innovation, form, function, quality, safety and sustainability,” said Brandon Gien, Managing Director of Good Design Australia. “Judges played with, tested, pulled apart and reassembled products to create an accurate user experience and understand each product’s design qualities.”
Mr Gien said that with a very high calibre entry field, the panel had a tough task choosing the finalist products.
“To be named a Finalist in the Australian International Design Awards is a significant achievement,” Mr Gien said.
The all-new Peter Schreyer designed Optima has won praise for its head-turning styling from both consumers and design experts since its international launch last year.
The car was awarded the “Best Of The Best” accolade from the international judges at Germany’s famous Red Dot awards earlier this year.
The Australian International Design Award winners will be announced at a gala event in Melbourne on July 22.
(SEOUL) March 1, 2011 – Kia is celebrating a ‘landmark year’ in its remarkable history by holding the premieres of three new models at the81st Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva today (Tuesday). The all-new Kia Rio compact car is making its debut on the world stage in Switzerland. The all-new Kia Picanto small car is appearing outside Korea for the first time. And the new Kia Optima Hybird is being shown for the first time to a European audience.
“Kia’s uniquely powerful presence at Geneva will embody three premieres and highlight our brand’s design-led revolution, world-class engineering and advanced hybrid technologies,” commented Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice-Chairman, Kia Motors Corporation. “In Europe and around the world, the small and compact car markets account for a huge percentage of global sales, so the introduction of new Picanto and new Rio is immensely significant for Kia in what I am sure will be a ‘landmark year’ for our brand.
During the on going global economic uncertainty, Kia products have maintained their appeal to consumers. Last year we delivered more than 2 million vehicles to customers, an increase of 27 per cent over 2009.
“This year, I am confident that the popularity our recent introductions – Venga, Sorento, Sportage, Optima and Cadenza – will be greatly boosted by the arrival of new Picanto and new Rio in Kia showrooms,” concluded Mr Lee.
Revolutionary new Kia Rio brings design flair to B-segment
Kia’s fourth-generation Rio is a revolution, not an evolution of its predecessor. It boasts a bold and distinctive personality, bringing the latest model into line with Kia’s design-led product range. New Rio combines European finesse with Korean spice to create a form language that also communicates Latin flair, for a truly global appeal.
Longer, wider and lower, new Rio is set to completely redefine its position as one of the most competitive vehicles in one of the most competitive sectors – the B-segment. New Rio will deliver low running costs and class-leading CO2 emissions – with target figures for the model range starting at just 85 g/km.
New Rio will be available with three bodystyles for the first time – four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and (from 2012) a new three-door hatchback – depending on market. The five-door (on show at Geneva) has a length of 4045 mm, the sedan will measure 4,365 mm (giving a 33% increase in trunk space to 390 litres) and all models feature a wheelbase extended by 70 mm (to 2570 mm) – greatly enhancing passenger space and cargo capacity.
The Kia Rio will offer an extensive line-up of six fuel-efficient, low CO2 engines, with the local powertrain selection tailored to best suit individual markets and consumer preferences. Power outputs will range from 51kW (1.1-litre three-cylinder diesel in Europe), up to 103kW (1.6-litre GDI gasoline four-cylinder engine for North America).
To complement the striking exterior, Rio’s interior design has also been transformed to give the car a genuine premium feel. Customers can select from a choice of two-tone interiors and numerous trim packs to create their own bespoke interior – underlining the fresh focus for new Rio as a mature, refined compact car.
A small car, grown up – the all-new Kia Picanto
The all-new Kia Picanto is now a small car, grown up. It has been redesigned and re-engineered with stand-out styling that conveys a sense of solidity and maturity. Longer than the previous model, and with an extended wheelbase, new Picanto will be offered for the first time with a choice of 5-door and 3-door body styles, it is set to become one of the most competitive vehicles in the global ‘city car’ A-segment.
The character of 3.6-metre long new Picanto has been transformed from ‘cute’ and ‘friendly’ into mature and handsome, designed to turn heads on the street, thanks to its good looking, sexy proportions and dynamic design language. Picanto in its newest form exudes a bold self confidence which is unique in its segment.
Picanto’s new cabin will offer buyers numerous ‘big car’ comfort and convenience features – many of them fitted for the first time on a car in this segment – plus material quality and the range of trim choices that introduce a ‘premium’ level of individualisation to this segment. The interior can be chic, sporty or premium, depending on the customer’s preference.
Every new Picanto will come with a highly efficient engine from Kia’s ‘Kappa’ family of power units. Globally, four versions of the Kappa will be offered with power outputs ranging from 51-to-63kW. The Picanto’s base-line CO2 figure has been lowered to just 90 g/km, with fuel consumption as low as 4.1 litres/100 km.
European premiere of Kia Optima Hybrid sedan
Following its world premiere in the USA, Kia is exhibiting its all-new Optima Hybrid sedan in front of a European audience for the first time, raising Kia’s environmental credentials to a new level. Taking Kia forward into its ‘EcoDynamics’ era, the 4.85-metre long Optima Hybrid pioneers new technologies which are destined to appear in future Kia production models.
Scheduled to begin mass production in the first half of 2011, the Optima Hybrid employs a truly innovative Kia-developed hybrid powertrain with a combined (electric motor plus gasoline engine) output of 154kW and 265 Nm of torque. Consequently, Kia’s latest sedan delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 kph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 195 kph – plus class-leading fuel economy, achieving a 40.7 per cent fuel consumption improvement compared with a regular 2.4-litre Optima.
Kia’s ingenious, simple and cost-effective ‘parallel hybrid system’ features a special clutch fitted between the 2.4-litre gasoline engine and the small 30kW electric motor, enabling the gasoline engine to be de-coupled from the powertrain so the sleek sedan can be operated in zero-emissions, full-electric drive mode from standstill up to 100 kph. Throughout the entire driving experience the hybrid operation is automatic and seamless.
Kia’s Optima Hybrid employs a new lithium polymer battery pack developed with LG Chem. Battery reliability is so good that the Optima’s pack will not need replacing in the vehicle’s lifespan – at least 10 years and 150,000 miles.
Kia Motors Australia has unveiled an all new medium passenger vehicle at the 2011 Australian Open.
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.
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).