Optima PHEV

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phev20160920Kia’s All-in-one Plug-in

The age of global environmental awareness has undoubtedly set in as more and more car companies are investing their millions into the development motoring technology bent on using cleaner and greener energy for cars of tomorrow. That is if you don’t count the recent development coming from Kia. The company’s first plug-in hybrid model, the Kia Optima PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) spearheads the brand’s mission to lower the average carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by the end of this decade. Maximum environment sensitivity is addressed by the all-new Optima PHEV with its promise of up to 176.6 mpg, allowed by a maximum drag coefficient of 0.25; thanks to an active air flap grille.

The Optima PHEV could fool anyone with the stereotype of an electric vehicle but once the power underneath the hood manifests itself, any shade of doubt will quickly be chased away as the Optima PHEV combines a 154-bhp (156 horsepower) 2.0-liter direct injection petrol engine with a 50-kilowatt (67-bhp/68-hp) electric motor powered by a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack all for an electric motor running on a six-speed automatic transmission that could easily generate 202 bhp (204 hp) and 375 Newton-meters of torque when handled correctly.

Dynamically Smart, Always Ready and Fully Connected
The Optima PHEV is ready with a virtual ceasefire between digital giants; boasting connectivity suites from Android (Android Auto) and Apple (Apple CarPlay), the flexible gadget support of the new Optima are set to be compatible with virtually any multimedia device of the users’ preference a feature complemented by the provision of multiple USB sockets throughout the cabin. On top of this, the Optima offers Kia’s state-of-the-art Audio-Visual Navigation (AVN) system that is operated on an attractive 8.0-inch touch screen interface that of course features wireless Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, and serves as the display for the rear parking camera. The AVN system also offers the full Kia Connected Services package powered by TomTom. This provides live traffic updates, speed camera alerts and local point-of-interest and weather reports. It is provided free for seven years. The Kia also offers real-time updates on the car’s rate of charge depletion, geo-locations of nearby charging stations, energy usage patterns which adjusts constantly to changes in driving style and traffic conditions, as well as other useful information about the vehicle.

While performance-enhancers may be a mortal sin as far as the recently-concluded Rio Olympics is concerned, technologies that enhance the driving and riding experience couldn’t be any more welcome as they are in the Optima. Sophistication in innovation, the Optima offers a generous level of accessibility and driving capability with an impressive lineup of smart features including regenerative braking, a driving style guide, an ECO-DAS (ECOnomy Driver Assistance System) featuring Coasting Guide Control, a Drive Mode Select button so drivers can personalize the power train’s dynamics, and an HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Select switch. It also has an intelligent heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to save battery power.

A package of aerodynamic and styling changes distinguishes the Optima PHEV from other models in its class. Chief among these is the all-new active air flap grille that automatically closes when engine cooling requirements are at their lowest, so air passes more efficiently over and around the car. When activated, it lowers the drag coefficient (Cd) of the PHEV to 0.25, rather than the 0.29 of other Optimas. Every small improvement in drag can have a significant effect on fuel consumption, especially at higher speeds. There are also uniquely profiled front and rear bumpers for the PHEV to reduce air turbulence. Together, these make the PHEV more efficient at cutting through the air, thus saving precious energy, while ensuring that it is instantly recognizable as the most efficient car in the Optima range.

All in all, the new Kia Optima PHEV delivers in a single, well-built package, everything we love about the Kia Optima plus the priceless perks of today’s technological advancements. Expected to carry on the outstanding increase in consumer interest for Kia cars since the start of the decade, the new Optima exemplifies what a car, built on Kia’s reputation for quality and performance, driving on the technologically diverse city roads of today, should be.

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