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Kia Showcases GT Concept and Optima Hybrid at 2011 LA Auto Show +VIDEO

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Kia GT Concept introduced at Los Angeles Auto Show


LOS ANGELES - November 16, 2011: Kia continued to turn heads today at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the North American introduction of the striking Kia GT concept vehicle during the show. The forward-looking Kia GT concept – originally shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show – signals the company’s distinctive new design direction with graceful yet confident styling and is the first rear-wheel-drive concept in Kia’s history.

“Over the past three years Kia’s design-led transformation has delivered more new products than any other brand, and the first showing of the striking GT concept on U.S. soil provides a glimpse into our future showroom and the continuing role world-class design will play in the development of our vehicles,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “With its rear-wheel-drive platform and powerful engine, the GT concept represents exciting possibilities for Kia as we move forward to the next chapter in brand history.”

Watch the complete Kia Press Conference

Sleek and muscular, the Kia GT four-door sports sedan concept was created by Kia’s European design team under the watchful eye of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer. The new concept allowed Kia to explore exciting new visual paths, including a unique interpretation of the Kia-family tabbed grille with a carbon-fiber insert to match the front and rear fascias and side sills.

Triangular swept-back headlamps with pronounced outlines flank the grille and transition seamlessly to the sloping hood and up to the wide windshield. The extended hood along with the rearwheel-drive configuration also allowed for the design team to push the front wheels to the extreme front of the car to increase its sporty design. The swooping angle from windshield to rear window enhances the GT’s aerodynamic presence, while vent-like tail lights, powerful rear shoulders and truncated rear end add to the vehicle’s hunkered down appearance. Propeller-style rims complete the dynamic look.

The GT’s front and rear-hinged back doors open slightly upward to ensure easy ingress and egress, and the spacious cabin provides comfortable seating for four, assisted by the concept’s unusually long wheelbase of 112.6 inches and overall length of 184.6 inches. Despite its low stance, an overall height of 54.3 inches allows for plenty of headroom.

The GT is not all looks, however, packing plenty of heat under the hood. Coupled with an eightspeed automatic transmission is a 3.3-liter turbocharged Lambda V6 Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine, allowing the rear-wheel-drive sports sedan to offer a thrilling 395 horsepower and 393.5 poundfeet of torque.

Watch the Kia GT Concept promo video (revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show


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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid

Available in two configurations – base model or with an advanced Hybrid Premium and Technology Package – all Optima Hybrids offer several features, including distinctive designs for the front grille and headlamps and 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated outside mirrors, front and rear lower bumpers and side sills and LED tail lamp design. For 2012 the Optima Hybrid builds on an already solid platform with the addition of HD Radio and power folding outside mirrors to the Hybrid Premium and Technology Package.

State-of-the-art Hybrid Powertrain
All 2012 Optima Hybrid models feature a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gas engine that produces 166 horsepower connected by a wet clutch to an Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) synchronous electric motor producing 40 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque up to 1,400 rpm (in full-electric mode only). The advanced powertrain, mated to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission, delivers 35 miles per gallon in the city and up to a class-leading 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The full parallel hybrid system can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 miles per hour or in blended gas-electric mode at any speed. When the car comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine shuts off to completely eliminate idle fuel consumption and emissions.

To power the electric motor, the Optima Hybrid leverages a state-of-the-art, air-cooled 270V lithium-polymer (Li-PB) battery. Developed in partnership with LG Chem, Li-PB chemistry offers an optimum balance of power delivery, energy density, reliability and thermal stability. Compared to commonly used nickel metal hydride systems, Kia's Li-PB system is 20-30 percent lighter, occupies 40 percent less volume, is 10 percent more efficient, offers two times the power density, and holds a charge 25 percent longer than many comparable competitor systems. At only 95 pounds, the battery system is extremely durable with warranty coverage for up to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid

Sleek and Aerodynamic Exterior
Maintaining the performance-oriented yet refined aesthetic of its non-hybrid siblings, the Optima Hybrid's world-class design combines a sleek silhouette and aggressive stance with sculpted elements that evoke passion and communicate the Kia Motors' philosophy of creating stylish and fun-to-drive vehicles. In keeping with Kia's visual motif, the Optima Hybrid proudly features a unique hybrid-specific black gloss and chrome version of the brand's signature tabbed front grille. Five millimeters lower than the non-hybrid Optima, the vehicle's coupe-like profile is accentuated by a sweeping chrome arc that flows seamlessly from the A through the C pillars, a distinctive design element that visually lowers the car while enhancing its proportions. Optima Hybrid's roofline connects with its pronounced shoulder line that leads to its sculpted flanks and extended wheelbase. Boldly flared wheel arches and a raked cabin create a graceful and muscular stance.

Every Optima Hybrid offers several enhancements to its exterior to improve aerodynamics, including a unique headlamp design that helps to channel air around the vehicle, rear spoiler, smooth underfloor panels that provide improved airflow under the vehicle, and smoother rear fascias (sides). The use of an active air flap system in the front grille helps to reduce drag by automatically opening or closing based on vehicle speed, engine temperature, and airflow in the front of the car. A lower ride height (five mm lower) and unique side mirror design also contribute to the Optima Hybrid's improved aerodynamic profile. Combined, all aerodynamic updates help the hybrid model achieve a 0.26 drag coefficient – a 10-percent improvement over non-hybrid models.

Every 2012 Optima Hybrid comes well equipped with numerous standard features, including hybrid-specific lightweight 16-inch alloy wheels, SX trim-inspired front and rear lower bumpers and side sills, unique LED tail light design, rear lip spoiler, single hidden exhaust tip, and a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that plays a pre-recorded engine sound during electric-only operation up to 12 miles per hour to help notify people outside the vehicle that it is approaching.

When equipped with the Premium Technology Package, 17-inch alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires, power folding outside mirrors, and HID headlamps with auto leveling are added.

High-tech and Modern Interior
Like all Optima models, the Optima Hybrid offers sleek modern lines and numerous well-positioned features inside the cabin and exudes a sporty, yet efficient layout designed with the eco-conscious driver in mind. From the instrument panel that's contoured toward the driver to create a cockpit-like feel to the precise gauges and engaging technology, the Optima Hybrid's interior provides a unique driver-centric experience without sacrificing passenger comfort or roominess.

The Optima Hybrid adds to the extensive list of standard convenience features and stylish appointments found on the well-equipped Optima LX A/T trim, with equipment including an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, electric dual zone automatic temperature control with rear vents, push-button start with Smart Key, Supervision™ meter cluster with unique LCD display for hybrid information, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, one-touch automatic up/down on front windows, chrome interior door handles, glove box illumination, rear reading lamps, and fixed rear seats with ski pass-through, a feature not found on most hybrid midsize sedan competitors. The Optima Hybrid's air conditioning system uses an electric compressor, reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven systems and allowing cool air to flow even with the engine off in "idle-stop" mode.

    • SEE ALSO: Exclusive PRESS PASS COVERAGE of the 2011 L.A. Auto Show