KIA Optima Sportwagon 3

Έχει περάσει πάνω από ένας χρόνος από τότε που είδαμε για πρώτη φορά το SportSpace concept της KIA και περίπου 6 μήνες από τότε που επιβεβαιώθηκε και επίσημα ότι το Ευρωπαϊκό Optima θα αποκτήσει και station-wagon έκδοση. Αυτό είναι λοιπόν, το KIA Optima Sportwagon που θα κάνει ντεμπούτο στην επερχόμενη έκθεση της Γενεύης.

KIA Optima Sportwagon 1

Ο σχεδιασμός του Optima station-wagon είναι εμπνευσμένος από αυτόν του πρωτότυπο SportSpace αλλά όπως θα περίμενε κανείς, είναι πολύ πιο “γήινος”. Είναι δύσκολο άλλωστε για μία έκδοση παραγωγής να διατηρήσει την επιθετική stance που προσφέρει η χαμηλωμένη ανάρτηση και οι μεγάλοι τροχοί ή κάποια στοιχεία όπως οι εμπρός και οι πίσω προφυλακτήρες, τα φιμέ φωτιστικά σώματα και τα στενά παράθυρα. Στην τελική όμως, το Optima Sportwagon είναι ένα όμορφο αυτοκίνητο. Διατηρεί τις διαστάσεις του Optima sedan με εξαίρεση το ύψος που είναι 5 χιλιοστά μεγαλύτερο (4.855×1.860×1.470) ενώ το μεταξόνιο αγγίζει τα 2.805 χιλιοστά.

KIA Optima Sportwagon 4

Αν οι αλλαγές που έγιναν στο εξωτερικό θεωρούνται μικρές, αυτές που έγιναν στην καμπίνα, είναι τεράστιες. Πάλι όμως… είναι λογικές και αναμενόμενες. Δεν ξέρω ποιος περίμενε να περάσει το φουτουριστικό εσωτερικό του SportSpace concept στην παραγωγή. Ο σχεδιασμός της καμπίνας του Optima Sportwagon, είναι σε πολύ μεγάλο βαθμό ίδιος με αυτόν του sedan Optima. Ωστόσο, προσφέρει επιπλέον χώρους για τους πίσω επιβάτες και την πρακτικότητα ενός πολύ μεγάλου πορτ-μπαγκάζ (+48 λίτρα συγκρινόμενο με την sedan έκδοση και συνολικά, 533 λίτρα).

KIA Optima Sportwagon 10

Οι μέχρι τώρα ανεπιβεβαίωτες πληροφορίες, αναφέρουν ότι το Optima SW θα είναι διαθέσιμο με δύο κινητήρες. Έναν turbodiesel 1.7 λίτρων που αποδίδει 141 ίππους και  340 Nm ροπής που συνδυάζεται είτε με 6-τάχυτο μηχανικό κιβώτιο, είτε με 7-τάχυτο, αυτόματο διπλού συμπλέκτη και έναν δίλιτρο βενζινοκινητήρα με 163 άλογα. Αργότερα δε, περιμένουμε να προστεθεί στην γκάμα και η κορυφαία, GT έκδοση, που θα κινείται από έναν δίλιτρο, υπερτροφοδοτούμενο βενζινοκινητήρα δύο λίτρων με 245 άλογα. Περισσότερες πληροφορίες, όταν δημοσιεύσει η KIA τα πλήρη τεχνικά χαρακτηριστικά του Optima Sportwagon.

Στο περίπτερο της Kia στη Γενεύη θα βρίσκεται τόσο το Niro, όσο και το Optima Plug-in.

Δελτίο Τύπου

STYLE AND SPACE FOR THE ALL-NEW KIA OPTIMA SPORTSWAGON, MAKING ITS GLOBAL DEBUT AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

  • Kia’s first-ever D-segment tourer makes debut at 2016 Geneva Motor Show
  • Design inspired by 2015 Kia SPORTSPACE Concept
  • 553-litre cargo capacity and versatile 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats
  • High strength bodyshell and intuitive technologies improve safety
  • New infotainment system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
  • Smooth ride and responsive handling, with optional electronic suspension
  • Choice of petrol and diesel engines and advanced seven-speed double-clutch transmission

The all-new Kia Optima Sportswagon, Kia’s first ever D-segment tourer, will make its global premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show (86 Salon International de l’Automobile) on 1 March.

Inspired by the 2015 SPORTSPACE concept – shown for the first time at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show – the Optima Sportswagon offers the striking exterior design and high quality interior of the 2016 Optima saloon, with the added practicality and appeal of a tourer bodystyle.

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.”

Cole added: “This is an important product for Kia in Europe, and it will increase our presence in this hugely important segment. In Europe, two thirds of all sales in the D-segment, and three quarters of all fleet sales in this class, are made up of tourers, so the Optima Sportswagon will play a critical role in attracting new private and corporate buyers to the brand. This is an important conquest product for Kia.”

The Optima Sportswagon will be available with a choice of efficient and responsive petrol and diesel powertrains, including a high-powered GT model. The Optima Sportswagon is equipped with a range of innovative safety assistance and infotainment features, ensuring maximum occupant safety, comfort and enjoyment.

The Optima Sportswagon is due to go on sale across Europe in Q4 2016.

The all-new Optima Sportswagon: Kia’s first-ever D-segment tourer

Inspired by the Kia SPORTSPACE concept shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Optima Sportswagon is Kia’s first foray into the competitive D-segment tourer segment. A thoroughly practical vehicle for everyday use, the Optima Sportswagon will also be among the most stylish cars in its class, with a long, lean and dynamic profile. The Sportswagon retains the same width (1,860 mm) and length (4,855 mm) as the saloon, and grows by 5 mm in height (to 1,470 mm) to accommodate the expanded boot.

The new Optima Sportswagon features the same sharp lines and smooth bodywork that has come to define the latest Kia models. While the front of the car remains the same as the Optima saloon, its strong, rising shoulder and gently sloping, swept-back cabin continue for longer to produce its distinctive tourer body shape.

The overhang at the rear adds greater visual volume to the back of the vehicle, though this extra mass is disguised elegantly by the raked rear window and tapering roofline, giving the Sportswagon a genuinely athletic stance in a typically conservative segment.

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 Optima Sportswagon will be available in Europe in a choice of nine paint colours, and will ride on alloy wheels ranging from 16- to 18-inches in diameter.

High quality interior with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™

The all-new Kia Optima Sportswagon offers a premium-quality, driver-focused interior, with features and technologies typically associated with vehicles from the class above.

The wide dashboard, designed along a horizontal plane, helps to create a genuine sense of spaciousness and modernity, with the same high material quality and design that characterises the interior of the Optima saloon. For a quality ambience, the cabin is finished with a high proportion of soft-touch materials, cloth and leather trim in natural tones, and tasteful metallic accents. High levels of soundproofing reduce driver fatigue during long journeys and when travelling over broken surfaces.

The new Sportswagon is available with a choice of single- or two-tone colour interior schemes: single-tone (black) or two-tone (dark grey with light grey) in cloth or leather trim. The console is finished in gloss black and chrome.

The same technologies that make the Optima saloon one of the most innovative cars in the D-segment are featured in the Optima Sportswagon – a range of on-board technologies to improve usability, comfort and convenience.

The Optima Sportswagon is equipped with 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.

Available from launch, Android Auto™ connects to the user’s phone and lets them access smartphone apps and functions through the in-car infotainment system, such as voice-guided Google Maps navigation, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto™ also lets users stream music from Google Play Music.

Apple CarPlay™ – available on Sportswagon models by the end of 2016 – will enable full Siri voice control to control the phone’s various functions and apps, including navigation via Apple Maps, calls and text dictation. Apple CarPlay™ also supports other audio apps, such as music streaming or audiobooks that the user may have downloaded to their iPhone.

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.

The Optima Sportswagon is available with Kia’s new wireless charger for mobile devices, situated at the base of the central console. The 5W wireless charger lets users charge their phone on the move, without a wire. With ‘foreign object detection’, the charging system activates when a compatible device is placed on the pad and warns owners when they’ve left a phone on the charger when they leave the vehicle. The system displays the phone’s charging condition on the instrument cluster, and features a safety system to prevent overheating while in use.

The Optima Sportswagon additionally features two USB charging points, one in the front and one in the rear, to allow passengers to charge mobile devices, depending on trim level.

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.

Versatile practicality features and 553-litre cargo capacity

The all-new Optima Sportswagon is the most practical Optima ever, with generous cargo capacity and a range of innovative and useful features to ensure the best possible use of storage space.

The additional cargo space resulting from the tourer bodystyle makes the Optima Sportswagon one of the most practical cars in its class, with 553 litres (VDA) of cargo space behind the second row of seats – 48 litres more than the Optima saloon.

A series of highly ergonomic features in the boot render the car more practical than many other D-segment tourers. These include a safety barrier net built in to the back of the rear seats and pop-up sliding luggage rails to secure individual items which are likely to slide or roll around the boot. A low, flat boot lip, and a Smart Power Tailgate – which opens the boot automatically when the Optima’s smart key is located in close proximity to the rear tailgate – enables owners to load heavy items easily.

Highly-versatile 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats are fitted as standard, enabling owners to slide longer outdoor equipment – such as skis or snowboards – through the central seat, while two rear passengers can still sit in comfort.

High strength bodyshell with active safety technologies

The new Sportswagon offers a high level of safety from its lightweight, high-strength body and high levels of passive and active safety. Kia’s engineers have targeted a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating throughout the Optima Sportswagon’s development programme. The Optima saloon recently scored the maximum five-star rating from the independent safety organisation.

The bodyshell of the Optima Sportswagon benefits from the extensive application of Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS), which makes up 51% of the body. AHSS has been used to reinforce the car’s A and B-pillars, side sills, floor and front wheel arches, with particular attention paid to the roof, C-pillar and rear bulkhead, which have been adapted in the Optima’s transition from saloon to tourer.

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

The Kia Optima Sportswagon is expected to be a strong performer in Euro NCAP’s increasingly important Safety Assist category thanks to its suite of new 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.

The Optima Sportswagon is available with a wide range of optional active hazard-avoidance technologies, depending on market. These 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 Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS) is an assistance system and does not relieve the driver from his/her responsibility to safely operate the vehicle at any time. The driver still has to adapt his/her driving behaviour to his/her personal driving capabilities, to the legal requirements and to the overall road and traffic conditions. AEBS is not designed to drive the vehicle autonomously. For further information, please refer to the owner’s manual.

Smooth ride, agile handling and optional electronic suspension

Central to the appeal of the new Optima saloon is its ride comfort, high-speed stability and engaging handling. The Optima Sportswagon’s suspension system has been engineered to isolate vibrations and bumps from poor road surfaces, and while improving handling agility.

The Optima saloon’s fully-independent suspension hardware is carried over for the new Sportswagon derivative, however spring, damper and alignment settings have been adapted for the new tourer due to the new version’s different weight distribution, which is slightly more rear-biased.

The development brief for the Optima’s fully-independent suspension – compared to the last-generation Kia Optima – saw engineers move front and rear subframe mounting points further out towards the edge of the vehicle for a smoother ride over uneven surfaces. Two additional front bushing mounts (now four) increase lateral stiffness, while more robust wheel bearings complete the front suspension changes. The results are evident in the Optima Sportswagon’s quick responses to steering inputs, high level of traction under cornering and stability on motorways and poor surfaces.

At the rear, the Optima’s multi-link suspension features large dual lower-arms with thick, highly energy-absorbent bushings. Further defining the Optima’s ride and handling characteristics, stability and bump absorption are both high.

The Optima Sportswagon is equipped with Kia’s new rack-mounted electric motor-driven power steering system (R-MDPS), fitted as standard for European models with the 1.7-litre CRDi engine and GT models, empowered by the new 2.0-litre T-GDI engine. Mounted directly on the steering rack, rather than on the column, R-MDPS provides a high level of steering feel and quick, linear responses to driver inputs – particularly around the centre. R-MDPS enhances the Sportswagon’s sharp handling characteristics, and places it among the most agile cars in the D-segment.

Customers can specify an optional electronic controlled suspension system with internal valves (ECS), to deliver ride and handling tailored exclusively to the tastes of European drivers. ECS employs internal valves for each of the four dampers, and is connected to a G-force sensor in the ECU and two G-force sensors built into the front wheels. Using these sensors, ECS detects steering inputs and accelerator pedal position, and monitors road conditions, to adapt the suspension for a firmer, sportier ride or for greater comfort – drivers can choose from ‘sport’ and ‘normal’ modes accordingly. The system provides individualised damping force for each wheel more quickly than ever before. ECS will be available from launch on models fitted with the 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engine, and will be fitted as standard to all 2.0-litre T-GDI GT models.

Choice of petrol and diesel power with manual or automatic transmissions

The front-wheel drive Optima Sportswagon will be available with a range of Euro 6-compliant petrol and diesel engines when it goes on sale across Europe. The Optima Sportswagon offers the choice of either a 1.7-litre CRDi diesel or 2.0-litre CVVL petrol engine, while GT models are equipped with Kia’s new high-powered 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol direct injection engine.

Upgraded for its application in the Optima saloon and carried over unchanged in the Sportswagon, the 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engine will account for the majority of European sales. The engine benefits from a series of modifications, resulting in greater power output and torque, and reduced emissions. Producing 141 ps and340 Nm torque, the upgraded 1.7-litre diesel engine will offer low CO2 emissions and high economy, pending final homologation later in 2016.

The 1.7-litre CRDi engine is available with a six-speed manual transmission or Kia’s new seven-speed double-clutch transmission, capable of handling the higher torque outputs of the turbodiesel engine and engineered to offer a sportier driving experience with smooth and instantaneous gear changes.

The Optima Sportswagon is also available with a 2.0-litre CVVL petrol engine, featuring continuously variable valve lift technology for smooth delivery of its 163 ps power output and keen accelerative response. The 2.0-litre CVVL petrol engine can be specified with either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. 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.

Kia Optima Sportswagon on-sale from Q4 2016

The Optima Sportswagon will go on sale across Europe in Q4 2016, with the company’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty as standard. For European markets, the Optima Sportswagon will be built at Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea.

Editor’s note: All technical data in this press release are based on the Optima saloonmodel and may differ from the Optima Sportswagon. Full technical details of the Optima Sportswagon will be released closer to the official vehicle launch.

ALL NEW KIA OPTIMA SPORTSWAGON

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (EUROPE)

Body and chassis

Four-door, five-seater tourer, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Choice of diesel and petrol four-cylinder engines driving the front wheels via manual or automatic transmission – depending on model.

Engines

2.0-litre / 163 ps CVVL petrol
Type Capacity Bore and stroke Compression ratio Max power Max torque Valves Fuel system Emissions class Four cylinder in-line, naturally aspirated 2.0-litres, 1,999 cc 81.0 x 97.0 mm 10.3:1 163 ps (120 kW) @ 6,500 rpm 196 Nm (145 lb ft) @ 4,800 rpm 16 (four per cylinder) Continuously variable valve lift Euro Stage 6b
1.7-litre / 141 ps CRDi diesel
Type Capacity Bore and stroke Compression ratio Max power Max torque Valves Fuel system Emissions class DOHC, four cylinder in-line, turbocharged 1.7-litres, 1,685 cc 77.2 x 90.0 mm 15.7:1 141 ps (104 kW) @ 4,000 rpm 340 Nm (251 lb ft) @ 1,750-2,500 rpm 16 (four per cylinder) Common-rail direct injection Euro Stage 6b
2.0-litre / 245 ps T-GDI petrol
Type Capacity Bore and stroke Compression ratio Max power Max torque Valves Fuel system Emissions class Four cylinder in-line, turbocharged 2.0-litres, 1,998 cc 86.0 x 86.0 mm 10:1 245 ps (180 kW) @ 6,000 rpm 353 Nm (260 lb ft) @ 1,350-4,000 rpm 16 (four per cylinder) Direct injection Euro Stage 6b

Transmissions

2.0 CVVL        1.7 CRDi         2.0 T-GDI Manual                        6-sp                 6-sp                 — Automatic                    6-sp                 7DCT              6-sp

Gear ratios

2.0 CVVL        1.7 CRDi             2.0 T-GDI MT       AT       MT       AT             AT 1                                  3.615   4.400   3.615   3.786   4.766 2                                  2.080   2.726   1.931   2.261   2.946 3                                  1.387   1.834   1.696   1.957   1.917 4                                  1.079   1.392   1.241   1.023   1.420 5                                  0.884   1.000   0.921   0.778   1.000 6                                  0.744   0.774   0.780   0.837   0.772 7                                     —        —        —        0.681     — Reverse                      3.000   3.440   3.731   5.074   3.393 Final Drive 1               4.533   3.383   3.765   3.158   2.885

Suspension and damping

Front                                Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Rear                                Fully-independent by subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Steering

2.0 CVVL    1.7 CRDi         2.0 T-GDI

Gearing                        14.34:1        13.29:1            14:34:1 Turns, lock-to-lock       2.78             2.6                   2.78 Turning circle               5.45 metres Type                                Electric motor-driven rack-and-pinion power steering 2.0 CVVL                       Column-mounted electric motor (C-MDPS) 1.7 CRDi                        Rack-mounted electric motor (R-MDPS) 2.0 T-GDI                       Rack-mounted electric motor (R-MDPS)

Brakes

Front                               300~320 mm ventilated discs (330 mm, 2.0 T-GDI) Rear                                284~300 mm solid discs (314 mm ventilated discs, 2.0 T-GDI)

Wheels and tyres

Standard                        Alloy 16-inch, 215/60 R16 tyres Standard, 2.0 T-GDI     Alloy 18-inch, 235/45 R18 tyres Optional                          Alloy 17-inch, 215/55 R17 tyres

Alloy 18-inch, 235/45 R18 tyres Spare                            Tyre mobility kit

Dimensions (mm)

Exterior Overall length            4.855               Overall width*             1,860 Overall height            1,470               Wheelbase                  2,805 Front track                  1,614               Rear track                   1,621 Front overhang           965                  Rear overhang            1.085 Ground clearance      135

*excluding door mirrors

Interior

1st row             2nd row Head room                  1,020               970 Leg room                     1,155               905 Shoulder room            1,475               1,432 Hip room                     1,423               1,422

Capacities

Fuel tank                     70 litres Luggage (VDA)           553 litres

Weights (kg)

2.0 CVVL          1.7 CRDi             2.0 T-GDI

MT       AT          MT       AT               AT Curb weight                        1,475   1,495   1,545   1,560       TBC Gross weight                       2,070   2,090   2,140   2,150       TBC Tow capacity, braked         1,700   1,300   1,800   1,500       TBC Tow capacity, unbraked     750      650      750      750           TBC

*All technical data complies with homologation regulations from other global regions (Russia, Australia, General Markets, Eastern Europe). European homologation is scheduled to take place closer to the car’s launch.

KIA TO UNVEIL OPTIMA PLUG-IN HYBRID, THE NEXT STEP IN ITS ‘GREEN’ CAR REVOLUTION

European debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show Pure-electric range of 33 miles and 37 g/km CO2 development target High-capacity batteries and 2.0-litre GDI engine Visual changes bring improvements in aerodynamic performance New infotainment system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ Advanced energy-saving measures maximise EV range and efficiency High-strength bodyshell and active safety assistance technologies Sharp handling and larger brakes The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid, Kia’s first ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, will receive its European premiere at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, ahead of the car going on sale across Europe in Q4 2016. The innovative new plug-in hybrid powertrain will be a key addition to Kia’s D-segment Optima line-up, as well as the company’s expanding portfolio of low-emission vehicles.

The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid provides greater battery capacity and pure electric range than earlier Optima Hybrid models, enabling drivers to travel up to 33 miles in zero-emissions electric-only mode before the efficient 2.0-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine is required to provide propulsion. Kia’s development teams are targeting combined CO2 emissions of just 37 g/km, which will ensure a low total cost of ownership for private and fleet buyers alike.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “Hybrid sales have more than doubled in Europe over the last five years, and are estimated to account for around 700,000 new car sales in Europe by 2020. The Optima Plug-in Hybrid will allow Kia to address the growing demand for low-emissions vehicles, and support us in our mission to hit our global 2020 target: to improve average fleet fuel efficiency by 25% over 2014 levels.”

He added, “Our advanced new Plug-in Hybrid powertrain makes the Optima an incredibly compelling proposition for private and fleet customers. It combines attractive design, a great driving experience, low running costs and minimal environmental impact.”

The last-generation Kia Optima is credited with starting the brand’s design-led transformation when it was launched globally in 2010. The all-new Optima marks the next stage in this transformation, with the new Plug-in Hybrid model featuring a series of visual enhancements. These changes differentiate the model from other Optima models powered by conventional internal combustion powertrains, and also improve aerodynamic efficiency.

The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid comes equipped with a series of intuitive driver assistance technologies, maximising safety and further contributing to efficient engine performance.

33 mile electric-only range and 37 g/km CO2emissions development target

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack paired with a 50 kW electric motor, allowing it to operate in pure-electric mode for up to 33 miles at speeds as high as 120 kph, placing the Optima Plug-in Hybrid among the leaders in the D-segment for pure-electric range.

The innovative powertrain employs Kia’s efficient 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI engine at its core, which on its own generates156 ps and 189 Nm. The engine is coupled with the electric motor, which allows the car to operate in charge-sustaining mode once the battery runs out of charge. The powertrain’s total power output is 205 ps at 6,000 rpm, with the application of the electric motor facilitating immediate engine response to throttle inputs. With the addition of electric power, the Plug-in Hybrid’s total torque output is a high 375 Nm (276lb ft) from just 2,300 rpm.

Power is applied to the road through a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic gearbox, with the transmission-mounted 50 kW electric motor that is used to power the Optima Plug-in Hybrid replacing the traditional torque converter.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid’s next-generation battery system features a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which produces significantlymore energy output than the battery pack found in the outgoing Optima’s hybrid system. Its simplicity enables compact packaging on the front axle, and a straightforward provision of electric and petrol power to the driven front wheels with minimal energy transfer and conversion losses.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid offers a seamless blend of highly-efficient electric and internal combustion power, and a consistently high level of performance. The Optima Plug-in Hybrid will accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 9.4 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the previous-generation parallel hybrid, the Optima Hybrid.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is expected to deliver carbon dioxide emissions of 37 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle).

In spite of the space taken up by the high-capacity battery pack, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid is packaged in such a way to allow a 307-litre (VDA) cargo capacity, with the new battery pack hidden behind the rear seat and in the tyre well. The addition of the plug-in powertrain means engineers have been able to fit a smaller fuel tank than the outgoing Optima Hybrid, with capacity reduced from 65 to 55 litres.

Aesthetic and aerodynamic enhancements instantly distinguishable

In exterior profile, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid is instantly recognisable as a Kia and as part of the Optima family, although it adopts a range of enhancements that further improve aerodynamic efficiency. When the car’s all-new active air flap grille is activated, Kia’s design teams have reduced the drag coefficient to just 0.25 Cd (0.27 Cd for the Optima sedan). Reprofiled front and rear bumpers enable more efficient air-flow over the body of the car, thanks to a more aerodynamically efficient design.

Also distinguishing the Optima Plug-in Hybrid is special chrome trim with a clean metallic blue finish, for the rear bumper, grille surround and wheel arches, as well as special ‘EcoPlugin’ badging. The charging port is integrated into the driver-side front wing.

Inside, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid features a series of enhancements to reflect the innovative nature of the car and its powertrain. A new driver instrument cluster displays key information about the Plug-in Hybrid powertrain – such as the battery’s state of charge – as well as details on driving style, highlighting where a driver can drive more efficiently.

New touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with Kia’s latest audio-visual navigation (AVN) functionality, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. DAB digital radio, which is available across a number of European markets, is fully supported with Kia’s AVN. New for the Plug-in Hybrid, the AVN features a series of menus to show the car’s current EV range, as well as a new function to locate nearby charging stations.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid 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.

Available from launch, Android Auto™ connects to the user’s phone and lets them access smartphone apps and functions through the in-car infotainment system, such as voice-guided Google Maps navigation, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto™ also lets users stream music from Google Play Music.

Apple CarPlay™ – available on Plug-in Hybrid Models by the end of 2016 – will enable full Siri voice control to control the phone’s various functions and apps, including navigation via Apple Maps, calls and text dictation. Apple CarPlay™ also supports other audio apps, such as music streaming or audiobooks, that the user may have downloaded to their iPhone.

The AVN system offers a 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 Plug-in Hybrid 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 QuantumLogic™ Premium Sound Audio System, with 10 speakers, an external amplifier, Clari-Fi MP3 restoration technology and Harman Kardon’s advanced QuantumLogic surround sound technology.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is available with Kia’s new wireless charger for mobile devices, situated at the base of the central console. The 5W wireless charger lets users charge their phone on the move, without plugging in. With ‘foreign object detection’, the charging system activates when a compatible device is placed on the pad and warns owners when they’ve left a phone on the charger when they leave the vehicle. The system displays the phone’s charging condition on the instrument cluster, and features a safety system to prevent overheating while in use.

Intelligent fuel-saving and energy harvesting technologies for efficient battery use The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid comes equipped with a series of innovations to enhance the efficiency of the battery pack, as well as advanced energy harvesting systems and driver assistive technologies.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with two key technologies to save and regenerate battery power – regenerative braking and a new Coasting Guide Control (CGC) function. The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is also equipped with an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system with a driver-only ventilation function to conserve energy.

Kia’s regenerative braking system – now in its third-generation for its application in the Optima Plug-in Hybrid effectively allows the car to harvest kinetic energy while coasting or braking. Updated over the system found in earlier iterations of the Optima Hybrid, the new system is able to regenerate 11% more energy, recharging the Plug-in Hybrid’s battery when possible to reduce emissions and improve hybrid driveability.

Adopted from the Kia Soul EV, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid features Kia’s advanced HVAC system, which employs a smart air intake system with a ‘Driver Only’ ventilation system. This individual ventilation system provides ventilation and heating to the driver’s seat, completely shutting off heating and ventilation to other areas of the car. This is in contrast to other systems, in which closing the vents merely diverts ventilation through other vents in the car while energy consumption remains the same. Overall, the HVAC system seeks to reduce the load on the battery and cut energy consumption from heating and ventilation.

High strength bodyshell and active safety assistance technologies

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid offers a high level of safety from its lightweight, high-strength body and high levels of passive and active safety, with the maximum possible five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

The bodyshell of the Optima Plug-in Hybrid benefits from the extensive application of Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS), which makes up 51% of the body. AHSS has been used to reinforce the car’s A and B-pillars, side sills, roof, floor pan and front wheel arches.

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

The Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid remains a strong performer in Euro NCAP’s increasingly important Safety Assist category thanks to its 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.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is available with a wide range of optional active hazard-avoidance technologies, depending on market. These 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 Plug-in Hybrid’s AEB system is unique in its segment in Europe for offering not just a short-range radar, but also a longer-range radar 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 avoid or mitigate the effects of front collisions when travelling under 50 kph, while the longer-range ‘Urban’ radar enables the Optima 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 Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS) is an assistance system and does not relieve the driver from his/her responsibility to safely operate the vehicle at any time. The driver still has to adapt his/her driving behaviour to his/her personal driving capabilities, to the legal requirements and to the overall road and traffic conditions. AEBS is not designed to drive the vehicle autonomously. For further information, please refer to the owner’s manual.

Sharp handling and larger brakes With a light, rigid chassis, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid’s suspension is well equipped to isolate vibrations and bumps from poor road surfaces, while the fine-tuned, fully-independent suspension set-up blends agile handling with an improvement in ride comfort compared to the car’s predecessor, the Optima Hybrid.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid carries over the same suspension hardware from the base Optima sedan, ensuring high ride comfort and engaging handling, while the spring, damper and alignment settings have been tuned specially for the Plug-in Hybrid model, in order to manage the additional weight of the powertrain.

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with Kia’s column-mounted electric motor-driven power steering system (C-MDPS), for predictable and linear responses to driver inputs. Larger disc brakes at the rear of the car compared to conventionally-powered Optima models (300 mm in diameter for the Plug-in Hybrid, up from 262 mm) ensure braking performance remains high in spite of the additional weight of the Plug-in Hybrid powertrain.

2016 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid on-sale from Q4 2016

The all-new Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale across Europe in Q4 2016, offering the company’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty as standard. The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid for Europe will be built at Kia’s plant in Hwasung, Korea.

ALL NEW KIA OPTIMA PLUG-IN HYBRID – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (EUROPE)

Body and chassis

Four-door, five-seater sedan, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Petrol four-cylinder engine and parallel hybrid system driving the front wheels via six-speed automatic transmission.

Engines

2.0-litre / 156 ps GDI Type Capacity Max power Max torque Valves Fuel system Emissions class Four cylinder in-line, naturally aspirated 2.0-litres, 1,999 cc 156 ps (115 kW) @ 6,000 rpm 189 Nm (139 lb ft) @ 5,000 rpm 16 (four per cylinder) Gasoline direct injection (GDi) Euro Stage 6b

Battery and electric motor Battery type Voltage Energy Max power (motor) Max torque Lithium-polymer 360 V 9.8 kWh 68 ps (50 kW) @ 0-3,300 rpm 205 Nm (151 lb ft) @ 0-2,330 rpm

Combined hybrid system Total power Total torque 205 ps (151 kW) @ 6,000 rpm 375 Nm (276lb ft) @ 2,300 rpm Transmissions Six-speed automatic transmission

Gear ratios

1 4.639 2 2.826 3 1.841 4 1.386 5 1.000 6 0.772 Reverse 3.385 Final Drive 1 3.510

Suspension and damping Front Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Rear Fully-independent by subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Steering Gearing Turns, lock-to-lock Turning circle Type 15.3:1 2.78 5.45 metres Electric, rack-and-pinion Column-mounted motor-driven power steering Brakes Front 300 mm ventilated discs Rear 300 mm solid discs

Wheels and tyres Standard Alloy 17-inch, 215/55 R17 tyres Spare Tyre mobility kit

Dimensions (mm) Exterior Overall length 4,855 Overall width* 1,860 Overall height 1,465 Wheelbase 2,805 Front track** 1,602 Rear track** 1,609 Front overhang 965 Rear overhang 1,085 Ground clearance 135

*excluding door mirrors **on 17-inch wheels

Interior

1st row 2nd row Head room 1,020 970 Leg room 1,155 905 Shoulder room 1,475 1,432 Hip room 1,423 1,422

Capacities Fuel tank 55 litres Luggage (VDA) 307 litres

Weights (kg) Kerb weight 1,700 Gross weight 2,200 Tow capacity, braked 900

Performance Top speed (kph) 192 0-100 kph (secs) 9.4

Economy (litres / 100 km, NEDC)* Combined 1.7 CO2 (g/km) 37*

*on 17-inch wheels **development target

EUROPEAN DEBUT FOR ALL-NEW KIA NIRO HYBRID CROSSOVER

  • All-new Kia Niro to make European debut at 2016 Geneva Motor Show
  • Stand-out crossover design for the hybrid car market
  • Dedicated hybrid powertrain specifically developed for all-new model
  • Engineers targeting 89 g/km CO2 emissions
  • Predictive driving assistance maximises efficiency in all driving conditions
  • Lightweight, high-strength steel and aluminium body for maximum safety and low NVH
  • Infotainment options include Kia Connected Services and Android Auto™
  • On-sale in Europe from Q3 2016

The all-new Kia Niro will make its European debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show (86 Salon International de l’Automobile) on 1 March. An all-new low-emissions hybrid crossover, the Niro marks the development of Kia’s first dedicated eco-car platform.

The Kia Niro will offer the practicality and kerbside appeal of a spacious crossover, together with the high fuel efficiency of an advanced hybrid powertrain. Engineered from the ground up as a dedicated hybrid vehicle, its attractive, modern design will help the car stand out among conservatively-styled hybrid rivals.

The Niro’s all-new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains. While the Niro’s hybrid powertrain – made up of a 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine, lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 32 kW electric motor and six-speed double-clutch transmission – is under development, Kia’s engineers are targeting CO2 emissions of 89 g/km*.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented, “The Kia Niro will offer buyers a compelling blend of crossover practicality with the cool, modern styling for which Kia is famous, and an efficient new hybrid powertrain to keep running costs down. The Niro fills a gap in the market for a crossover with typically low hybrid emissions, and will appeal to a broad range of European buyers.”

Cole added: “Hybrid sales have more than doubled in Europe over the last five years, and are forecast to account for around 700,000 sales in Europe by 2020. The Niro will allow Kia to meet this growing demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, and help us meet our 2020 global target to improve average fleet fuel efficiency by 25% over 2014 levels.”

Stand-out crossover styling for the hybrid car market

An all-new addition to Kia’s design-led product range, and without precedent in the Kia line-up, the Kia Niro is distinguished by a brand new form. The styling of the Niro was led by Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea and incorporates the practicality and aesthetic allure of a compact crossover, with a sleek, aerodynamic body and subtly sculptured surfaces.

With its aerodynamic, crossover-inspired silhouette, subtly sculptured surfaces and sharp, modern lines, the Niro is nevertheless instantly recognisable as a Kia. The new model bears the latest evolution of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille, as well as the brand’s characteristically wide C-pillar and a series of other signature design cues.

Sporting a compact SUV shape, the Niro features smooth, sleek proportions, while its relatively wide stance portrays stability and a low centreof gravity. With a relatively long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlamps and rising shoulder line, the Niro’s athletic crossover stance represents a shift away from other hybrid cars on the market today. The Niro’s silhouette tapers slightly towards the rear of the vehicle, ending in a subtle rear roof spoiler, elevated tail-lamps and a wide, squared-off rear bumper. Combined with bold wheel arches, the design places greater visual volume over the rear haunches.

Designed principally for efficient aerodynamic performance, the Niro’s body allows for a low drag coefficient of just 0.29 Cd – making it more aerodynamic than many other hybrid rivals. Its relatively long wheelbase (2,700 mm) and short front and rear overhangs (870 and 785 mm, respectively) also ensure occupants enjoy generous interior space.

The Kia Niro occupies a new space within the brand’s model line-up in terms of its size. The Niro is 4,355 mm in length, 1,800 mm wide and 1,535 mm tall, making it smaller overall than the all-new Kia Sportage, though occupying a larger footprint than the cee’d hatchback.

For Europe, the Kia Niro will be available with a choice of seven colours, and buyers can choose from a selection of 16- or 18-inch alloy wheel designs.

Modern, horizontal dashboard emphasises cabin space

The all-new cabin of the Kia Niro has been designed to give an impression of space and modernity, with a wide dashboard and defined horizontal lines. The Niro follows the most recent Kia models in offering high quality, soft-touch materials throughout the interior.

Clear lines running the width of the cabin separate the different areas of the dashboard, with the instrument binnacle and HMI (human-machine interface) system situated along the same parallel, and a column of controls located beneath, incorporating heating and ventilation and switches for key driver assistive systems. The horizontal layout of the dashboard serves to draw the viewers’ eyes along the width of the cabin, for a greater impression of spaciousness, while the ergonomic centre console is angled slightly towards the driver.

The Kia Niro will be available with a single-tone cabin, available either in black or dark grey, and upholstered in cloth, cloth and leather or full genuine leather.

Engineers targeting 89 g/km CO2 emissions from advanced hybrid powertrain

In developing the Kia Niro HEV, engineering teams’ efforts have been principally focused on delivering class-leading fuel economy in the compact crossover segment. The Kia Niro combines its stylish design with low emissions and high fuel economy, with a target CO2 emissions rating of 89 g/km (combined, based on Kia internal testing).

Conceived as a dedicated hybrid model, the Kia Niro HEV will achieve its ultra-low emissions levels and impressive fuel economy with a downsized hybrid powertrain. Kia’s 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ GDI engine – producing 105 ps and 147 Nm torque – is paired with a 32 kW electric motor and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The powertrain’s combined 141 ps power output is applied to the road through a highly-efficient six-speed double-clutch transmission (6DCT), with a maximum 264 Nm (195 lb ft) torque available in first gear for decisive off-the-line acceleration.

The new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson combustion cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), petrol direct injection and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to maximise efficiency. Efficiency and emissions are further improved via the Niro’s exhaust heat recovery system, which speeds engine warm-up by routing coolant to a heat exchanger in the exhaust system

The transmission is the latest version of Kia’s 6DCT, based on the same architecture as Kia’s efficient new 7DCT, developed in-house for the recently-upgraded Kia cee’d. The 6DCT has been re-engineered specifically for use with the Niro’s advanced hybrid powertrain, delivering a more direct and immediate response – and a more entertaining drive – than a traditional continuously-variable transmission (CVT). The Niro’s 6DCT is able to shift gears automatically, while keener drivers can pull the gear lever towards them to put the car into Manual Sports mode and allow manual shifting.

For the 6DCT’s application in the Niro, the layout and gear train have been redesigned for light weight and compact size. New low-friction bearings and low-viscosity transmission fluid help reduce mechanical friction for quicker reaction times, while also reducing mechanical noise.

Kia has engineered a new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) to allow the DCT to work best with the hybrid powertrain. The TMED allows the full output of both the engine and electric motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with minimal loss of energy. This differs from a power-split system, which converts a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in a loss from energy conversion, as is typical of a CVT-based hybrid. The application of the new TMED also allows the hybrid system to access the battery’s power directly at higher speeds, for more immediate accelerative response.

Advanced battery pack with energy-saving and harvesting technologies

The 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack is the lightest and most efficient pack used by Kia to date, with up to 50% higher energy density and 13% greater energy efficiency than the battery packs found in key rivals. Weighing just 33 kg, the Niro’s battery pack – with an advanced power relay – allows the battery to regenerate electrical energy under deceleration.

High stability and engaging handling from fully-independent suspension

The Kia Niro has been engineered independently to other Kia models, with a significantly re-engineered version of existing Kia platform hardware. This platform has been designed to accommodate the Niro’s specific set of hybrid powertrain technologies, while its global development and evaluation programme ensures it offers buyers the smooth ride, engaging handling and high stability expected of a modern Kia model.

The Kia Niro is equipped with fully-independent MacPherson strut front suspension, tuned to offer maximum on-centre steering feel, immediate reactions to steering inputs and high-speed stability.

The Niro also adopts fully-independent multi-link rear suspension with dual lower arms. The result is a comfortable ride under all conditions, with each rear wheel able to absorb bumps and shocks independently, while ensuring high agility and stability with a larger tyre contact patch under cornering than a traditional torsion beam suspension setup, common among many models in the compact crossover and hybrid segments.

Special attention was also paid to brake feel. Applying lessons learned through development of two generations of the Optima Hybrid as well as the fully-electric Soul EV, Kia engineers designed the Niro’s regenerative system to seamlessly blend in hydraulic friction braking. Consequently, deceleration feels more consistent and linear than other hybrids.

The Niro also features the latest electronic driver aids, including Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management and Electronic Stability Control, to provide stability, traction and safety in all conditions.

NVH countermeasures ensure refinement in all-electric or hybrid driving modes

A series of measures have been adopted in the all-new Kia Niro to ensure low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). A particular challenge for the Niro, Kia engineers sought to ensure the car remained as quiet and refined as possible.

As a parallel hybrid, it is important that the Niro remains as refined as possible when the 1.6-litre GDI engine is running. The all-new model therefore features a range of measures to reduce the penetration of engine noise into the cabin. These include specially-designed asymmetric engine mounts to manage powertrain movements at each point in the front subframe, high density under-bonnet insulation, and a sound-deadening acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the engine accelerating across the most used range of engine speeds.

Reducing road noise was particularly important in order for engineering teams to minimise NVH in the cabin. Road noise is minimised and made as consistent as possible on different road surfaces with the adoption of high-insulation, rigid bushings in the front subframe. Additional insulation has also been applied around the base of the A- and B-pillars, while the rear wheel arch has been made stiffer with high-strength steels to minimise the transfer of road noise and vibrations from the rear of the car.

Suppression of wind noise was equally important, particularly at higher speeds. The Kia Niro therefore employs acoustic windshield glass and features a cowl over the windscreen wipers to reduce air turbulence at the base of the windscreen. Wind roar and ‘whistling’ is also minimised with carefully profiled door mirrors and – in its capacity as a practical crossover – any holes in the roof rack (to support cross bars) are covered.

High practicality with crossover platform engineered to accommodate hybrid system

The Niro hybrid crossover is designed to offer high levels of practicality and comfortable interior dimensions despite the compact on-road footprint.

Its relatively long wheelbase – 2,700 mm – contributes to generous interior proportions for all occupants, with up to 1,117 mm and 950 mm of legroom for front and rear passengers respectively. Its 1,800 mm-wide body provides occupants with plenty of shoulder room – 1,423 mm in the front and 1,402 mm in the rear. Headroom for all passengers is class-leading, with up to 1,049 mm in the front and 993 mm in the rear – even greater space than most C-SUVs.

For all occupants, the Niro’s crossover stance results in a slightly raised seating position and higher ground clearance compared to its hybrid and hatchback rivals, making ingress and egress easier, and resulting in a relaxed, comfortable driving position.

With plenty of space in the cabin, Kia’s engineering and design teams have created a new front seat design for the Niro. The new seat is 1.3 kg lighter than existing Kia seats, yet is designed to absorb greater levels of vibration with higher density cushioning and high-strength steel frames, minimising fatigue on longer journeys. Reprofiled springs and pads result in high levels of thigh, hip and side support.

The platform underpinning the all-new Kia Niro has been engineered to ensure no compromise in storage capacity due to the location of the hybrid powertrain. The Niro offers 421 litres (VDA) of cargo capacity, with no intrusion into boot space from the battery pack. The battery itself is located beneath the rear passenger bench, allowing the maximum possible boot space within its compact overall dimensions. The Niro’s boot is also of a sufficient shape and size to offer a full-size spare wheel beneath the boot floor (depending on market).

The fuel tank is located alongside the battery pack beneath the rear bench, with a 45-litre capacity.

From Q4 2016, the new Niro will be available with optional towing functionality – rare amongst cars in the hybrid class – allowing owners to tow braked loads of up to 1,300 kg.

Infotainment includes Kia Connected Services and Android Auto™

The new Kia Niro features a number of on-board technologies to improve comfort and convenience for buyers.

At the heart of the dashboard is Kia’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) and a large 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with optional navigation. Both systems support Bluetooth smartphone and audio connectivity and DAB digital radio, which is available across a number of European markets, and are connected to a six-speaker audio system. Music lovers can also specify new eight-speaker audio from JBL®, with a powerful 320 watt output, external amplifier.

The new Niro will also be the latest model from the company to adopt Kia’s Connected Services, powered by TomTom®. This new connectivity package offers drivers a wide range of up-to-date information, including live traffic updates**, speed camera locations and alerts**, local point-of-interest search and weather forecasts. Available in cars equipped with navigation Kia’s Connected Services will be available free of charge for European buyers for seven years after the car’s purchase.

**Legal restrictions to these services may apply depending on country usage

The Niro will additionally be the first Kia model to feature Android Auto™, designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Available from launch, Android Auto™ connects to the user’s phone and lets them access smartphone apps and functions through the in-car infotainment system, such as voice-guided Google Maps navigation, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto™ also lets users stream music from Google Play Music™. In the Niro, the system has been designed to minimise distractions, and allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road ahead at all times.

Meeting a trend for ever-increasing smartphone use, the Kia Niro is available with a new wireless charger for mobile devices, enabling users to charge a mobile device on the move, without the need for a wire connection. With ‘foreign object detection’, the 5W charging system activates when a compatible device is placed on the pad – situated at the base of the centre console – and warns owners when they’ve left a phone on the charger when they leave the vehicle. The system displays the phone’s charging condition, and features a safety system to prevent overheating while in use.

High-strength steel body combined with range of active safety technologies

The Niro builds on Kia’s legacy of developing some of the safest vehicles on the road, offering high standards for occupant and pedestrian crash safety. Engineered to meet the demands of the toughest and most demanding crash safety tests around the world, the Niro features a strong bodyshell and a wide array of passive safety equipment, as well as the latest active safety and autonomous hazard avoidance technologies.

The Kia Niro’s structure is particularly strong, with its bespoke new platform made up of a significant proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). Part of a wider effort by Kia, the extended use of AHSS will help Kia reach its target of a 5% reduction in the average weight of new car bodies by 2020 compared to 2014 levels, while enabling greater safety and security.

53% of the body is made out of strong, light AHSS, while aluminium is used for the bonnet, tailgate panel assembly, front bumper back beam and several chassis elements, including front knuckles, front lower arms and brake calipers. Even the parking brake pedal contributes to the weight savings through the use of a Fibre-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) construction. These weight-saving measures contribute both to safety and the car’s class-leading fuel efficiency.

Strengthened hot-stamped steel is also used to reinforce the cabin, particularly for the A- and B-pillars, roof rails and wheel arches. These materials mean the Niro has a high level of torsional rigidity and can effectively distribute impact forces around the body for maximum occupant safety.

The Niro is fitted as standard with seven airbags for optimum passive occupant safety, with airbags for driver and front passenger, driver knee, first row side airbags, and first and second row curtain airbags. ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points are fitted as standard to the second row of seats, to safely secure children.

The new Niro is expected to perform strongly in the Euro NCAP’s increasingly-important Safety Assist category, which analyses the latest driver assistance technologies engineered to avoid accidents and mitigate the effect of a collision.

Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, fitted as standard to the all-new car, helps ensure stability under braking and cornering by carefully controlling the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering. If the system detects a loss of traction, VSM helps the driver to remain safely in control of the vehicle.

The all-new Niro is available with many of the latest active hazard avoidance technologies, depending on market. Available systems will include:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)* with pedestrian detection, employing a radar detection system to detect potential collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and help bring the car to a halt
  • Smart Cruise Control (SCC), which automatically adjusts the Niro’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) – fitted as standard to all Niro models in Europe – emits an audible alert when the driver strays from the current lane without using the indicators
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) – also fitted as standard – detects the position of the Niro in relation to lane markings and takes automatic action to correct the steering line if it senses the car starting to draft without the use of indicators
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD) which monitors cars behind the Niro and provides the driver 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 Niro in car parks while reversing.

Kia targeting 25% fuel economy improvement by 2020 compared to 2014

The development of the all-new Niro, with an all-new platform and bespoke powertrain, will contribute to Kia’s ambition to becoming a leader in the low emissions car market by 2020. In the next five years, Kia will expand its current green car line-up from the four current models to 11 – starting with the Niro hybrid and Optima plug-in hybrid – and is targeting a 25% global improvement to average fleet fuel efficiency over 2014 levels.

This expanded range of low-emissions vehicles will encompass a wide range of advanced powertrains, from hybrids and plug-in hybrids to battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). The Niro is among the first of Kia’s new models to be designed, engineered and produced as part of this plan.

As well as investment in advanced propulsion technologies, by 2020 Kia will also replace seven out of its 10 current engine ranges with next-generation petrol and diesel units, while increasing the number of turbocharged engines. Higher-efficiency, multi-speed transmissions are also planned, while Kia engineers are targeting a 5% reduction in in the average weight of new car bodies through greater application of ultra-high strength steel.

On sale in Europe during Q3 2016

Following its European debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Kia Niro is due to enter full series production at Kia’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hwasung, Korea in May 2016.

The Kia Niro will go on sale across Europe towards the end of Q3 2016, and – as with every Kia sold in Europe – will come with the brand’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty.

ALL NEW KIA NIRO – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (EUROPE)

Body and chassis

Five-door, five-seater hybrid crossover, with steel and aluminium unitary construction bodyshell. Petrol four-cylinder engines and parallel hybrid system driving the front wheels via six-speed double-clutch transmission.

Engines

1.6-litre / 105 ps GDI Type Capacity Max power Max torque Valves Fuel system Emissions class DOHC, four cylinder in-line 1.6-litres 105 ps (77 kW) 147 Nm (108 lb ft) 16 (four per cylinder) Petrol direct injection Euro Stage 6b
Battery and electric motor
Battery type Voltage Energy Max power (motor) Max torque Lithium-ion polymer 240 V 1.56 kWh 44 ps (32 kW) 170 Nm (125 lb ft)
Combined hybrid system
Total power 141 ps (104 kW)

Transmissions Six-speed double-clutch transmission (DCT)

Suspension and damping Front                         Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Rear                          Fully-independent by subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Steering

Type                         Electric motor-driven rack-and-pinion power steering

Brakes

Front                         15-inch discs Rear                          14-inch discs

Wheels and tyres

Standard                    Alloy 16-inch Optional                     Alloy 18-inch

Dimensions (mm)

Exterior Overall length             4,355                  Overall width*          1,800 Overall height             1,535                  Wheelbase              2,700 Front overhang          870                      Rear overhang        785 *excluding door mirrors

Interior

1st row          2nd row Head room              1,049            993 Leg room                 1,117            950 Shoulder room       1,423            1,402

Capacities

Fuel tank                          45 litres Luggage (VDA)                421 litres Tow capacity, braked      1,300*

*available as an option from Q4 2016

Performance

Top speed (kph)      TBC 0-100 kph (secs)    TBC

Economy (litres / 100 km)

Combined               TBC CO2 (g/km)               89*

*development target