Unveiled at Chicago Motor Show, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is the first plug-in model from Kia. An increase in electric power has resulted in increased range and improved driving dynamics compared with previous Optima Hybrid models. Experience the latest in hybrid technology by booking a test drive today.
At a glance, the Optima PHEV closely resembles the regular Optima but look closer and you will notice some differences. A active air flap grille reduces the drag coefficient to just 0.25Cd. Air flow is optimised over the car’s body thanks to re-tooled front and rear bumpers. Chrome flourishes can be found on the rear bumpers, wheel arches and grille surround. A charging port is incorporated into the vehicle’s front wing, on the driver’s side. The vehicle is also adorned by distinctive ‘ECO plug-in’ badging.
The four-door Optima PHEV features room for five passengers. A digital instrument cluster, distinct from that of the standard Optima, provides helpful information regarding the charge-state of the battery, remaining energy and more. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning are all standard features, as is driver-only ventilation, a function that helps reduce power consumption.
A 2.0-litre diesel engine is paired with six-speed automatic transmission and delivers 154bhp and a peak torque of 205Nm at 6,000rpm. A 9.8kWh lithium-polymer battery comes with a 50kW electric motor. A total combined output of 202bhp and 375Nm is achievable. On electric power alone, the Optima PHEV is able to travel up to 33 miles, according to Kia.
Battery capacity and all-electric driving range are improved on that of previous Optima Hybrid models, and lower CO2 emissions are promised too. Kia Motor Europe’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Cole has stated that the vehicle has enabled the company “to address the growing demand for low-emission vehicles.” He added that it would “support us (Kia) in our mission to hit our global 2020 target: to improve fleet fuel efficiency by 25 percent over 2014 levels.”
Kia’s newest infotainment system includes an eight-inch touchscreen display and a six-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system that features DAB digital radio. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto app integration and voice control are also included. The latter enables the driver to keep his or her hands on the wheel and eyes firmly on the road. A wireless charging mat is located at the base of the central console, allowing users to charge their mobile devices.
Driver aids include Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane-keeping Assist System, High-beam Assist, Blind-spot Detection and Rear Cross-traffic Alert. Safety features include multiple airbags and a lightweight yet high-strength body made from a combination of reinforced steel and aluminium.