- World premiere for Optima Sportswagon, Kia’s first-ever D-segment tourer
- European debut for Optima Plug-in Hybrid
- All-new Niro hybrid crossover unveiled in European specification
The all-new Kia Optima Sportswagon was today given its global public debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show (86th Salon International de l’Automobile), ahead of the car going on sale across Europe from Q4 2016. The Optima Sportswagon was joined on the Kia stand by the all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid saloon and Niro hybrid crossover, both making their European debuts following world premieres at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show in February.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “These three new models will bring Kia into new segments for the first time, and help drive the brand’s growth in Europe for years to come.
“The SPORTSPACE concept from 2015 signalled a clear direction for the next generation Optima, and the Sportswagon adds an extra level of style and practicality to the well-received saloon. We decided to show our first-ever D-segment tourer together with our first-ever plug-in hybrid in Geneva to demonstrate our commitment to this hugely important sector, aimed at attracting new private and corporate buyers to the brand.
“The Kia Niro will also broaden our appeal to European customers, offering 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 low hybrid emissions, and will enable us to attract a new type of car buyer. Hybrid sales have more than doubled in Europe over the last five years, and are forecast to account for approximately 700,000 sales in Europe by 2020.
“The Niro and Optima Plug-in Hybrid will also help us meet our 2020 global target to improve average fleet fuel efficiency by 25 per cent over 2014 levels.”
Global premiere for the all-new Kia Optima Sportswagon
The Optima Sportswagon, Kia’s first foray into the D-segment tourer segment, has been inspired by the 2015 SPORTSPACE Concept. Manufactured exclusively for Europe, the new Optima Sportswagon offers the striking exterior design and high quality interior of the Optima saloon, with the added practicality and appeal of a tourer.
In adopting a tourer bodystyle, the Optima Sportswagon includes a series of highly ergonomic features in the boot, which render the car more practical than many other D-segment tourers. 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. Other features include a safety barrier net built in to the back of the rear seats and pop-up sliding luggage rails. A low, flat boot lip, and a Smart Power Tailgate enable owners to load heavy items easily.
The Optima Sportswagon is equipped with Kia’s latest audio-visual navigation (AVN) system, and will be among the first of Kia’s models to feature Android Auto™ for Android phones running 5.0 Lollipop or higher (available from launch), and Apple CarPlay™ for iPhone 5 or newer (available by the end of 2016). Both systems allow smartphone-style use of the infotainment system, with apps, voice control and music streaming.
The Optima Sportswagon will be available with a choice of 1.7-litre turbodiesel and 2.0-litre CVVL (continuously-variable valve lift) petrol engines, as well as a high-powered 2.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged petrol direct injection) engine for GT models.
European debut for new Optima Plug-in Hybrid
The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid, Kia’s first such vehicle, makes its European premiere today, before 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 car 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 more than 54 km (33 miles or above) at speeds as high as 75 mph, placing the Optima Plug-in Hybrid among the leaders in the D-segment for pure-electric range. 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.
The innovative powertrain employs Kia’s efficient 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI engine at its core, which on its own generates 156 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, and, with the addition of electric power, torque output is 375 Nm (276 lb ft) from just 2,300 rpm.
The Optima Plug-in Hybrid adopts a range of enhancements designed to improve its aerodynamic efficiency, including reprofiled front and rear bumpers and an all-new active air flap grille, which reduces the drag coefficient to just 0.25 Cd (0.27 Cd for the Optima saloon).
There are also two key technologies to save and regenerate battery power – regenerative braking and an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, with a driver-only ventilation function to conserve energy. Available to European buyers later in 2016, a new Coasting Guide Control (CGC) function is also currently in development, allowing the car to anticipate road conditions to reduce energy use and harvest additional electrical power.
European debut for all-new Kia Niro
Shown for the first time in Europe, the all-new Kia Niro, a low-emissions hybrid crossover, has been produced from a combination of significantly re-engineered existing Kia platforms, designed to accommodate the Niro’s specific set of hybrid powertrain technologies.
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 compelling blend of crossover practicality with the cool, modern styling, for which Kia is famous, will help the car stand out among conservatively-styled hybrid rivals. A target CO2 emissions rating of sub-89 g/km (combined, based on Kia internal testing) will ensure low running costs.
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.
The Niro is designed to offer high levels of practicality and comfortable interior dimensions despite its compact on-road footprint, with class-leading headroom, 421 litres (VDA) of cargo capacity and a boot of a sufficient size and space to offer a full-size spare wheel beneath the boot floor (depending on market). 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.
The all-new Kia Niro is due to enter full series production in May 2016, and will go on sale across Europe during Q3 2016.
As with every Kia sold in Europe, the Kia Niro, Optima Sportswagon and Optima Plug-in Hybrid will all be sold with the brand’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty.
ANDROID AUTO AND APPLE CARPLAY™ FOR LATEST KIA MODELS
- Kia to launch in-car Apple and Android operating systems
- Niro hybrid crossover first to offer Android Auto™
- Apple CarPlay™ rolled out across first Kia models later this year
Kia Motors is to introduce Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ functionality across its entire European model range over the next 18 months, making the Korean manufacturer’s customers some of the most connected drivers on the road.
The all-new Kia Niro hybrid crossover, Optima Plug-in Hybrid and Sportswagon will be available with the latest smartphone-compatible operating systems when they are launched in Europe later this year. Every new model in Kia’s product line-up will feature these technologies in future, as the brand seeks to offer the latest connectivity technology to buyers at all price points.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “In-car connectivity is increasingly important to our buyers, who are young-at-heart and often seek the latest technologies on offer. It makes a great deal of sense to offer full Android and Apple compatibility so our customers can use a wide range of smartphone functions in a safe and seamless way. Kia is integrating these technologies to let drivers maintain their concentration on the road ahead.”
Kia Niro hybrid crossover first to offer Android operating system
The new Niro hybrid crossover will be the first Kia model to feature Android Auto™ (designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 Lollipop or higher). Once the phone is connected to the car via USB, both the Android and Apple systems feature voice control and allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road ahead. Android Auto™ will be available on the Niro from the start of European sales in Q3 2016.
Android Auto™ connects to the user’s Android device 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™, for iPhone 5 or newer, will be available to Niro buyers by the end of 2016, after the car’s initial launch. Apple CarPlay™ will enable full Siri voice control to control an iPhone’s various functions and apps, including navigation via Apple Maps, calls and text dictation. The system also supports other audio apps, such as music streaming or audiobooks that the user may have downloaded to their iPhone.
The system has been designed to minimise distractions, and allow the driver to maintain their focus on the road ahead at all times. The new operating systems are built into a large 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system at the centre of the dashboard.
Additional Kia models to follow throughout 2016 and 2017
After its initial introduction in the Kia Niro, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ will be rolled out across every model in Kia’s European product line-up over the next 18 months, starting with the new Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid and Sportswagon, due to launch later in 2016.
Like the Niro, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid will be available with Android Auto™ from launch (during Q4 2016), with Apple CarPlay™ due to follow before year-end. The Optima Sportswagon, which goes on sale during Q4 2016, will be the first Kia model to offer both technologies from launch. Kia expects every model in its range to be available with the integrated smartphone operating systems by the end of 2017.
High-tech Kia Connected Services available on new Kia models
The all-new Kia Optima and Niro – and also the recently-launched Sportage crossover – are each available with Kia Connected Service, powered by TomTom®. Kia Connected Services is a new connectivity package offering 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. In Europe, the system is available to buyers free of charge for seven years after the car’s purchase.
STRONG START TO 2016 AS KIA EUROPE OUTPACES MARKET
- Kia Motors Europe posts best-ever January sales
- 29,302 cars sold, representing year-on-year growth of 12.7 per cent
- More than 2,000 pre-orders for all-new Kia Sportage
Kia Motors Europe has posted a strong start to 2016, with the brand recording its best-ever January sales figures according to the latest data from ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association).
With 29,302 units sold in in the first month of the year, rising from 25,996 in 2015, Kia’s 12.7 per cent year-on-year growth outpaced the rest of the European car market by a factor of two, with the new car market growing 6.3 per cent in the first month of the year.
2015 represented a significant milestone for Kia in Europe, its seventh consecutive year of growth and sales of over 385,000 units. Kia is targeting sales growth of 9 per cent this year.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “2015 was a landmark year for us, and in just seven years we have grown our annual sales in Europe by more than 60 per cent. We’ve started well in 2016, and we have set ourselves an ambitious sales target with a range of new models on the way.
“This year will see us introduce new versions of our best-selling Sportage and Optima models, for which we are already seeing incredibly high demand. We are also launching new plug-in hybrid and Europe-exclusive Sportswagon derivatives of the Optima and, we will enter a new segment entirely with the launch of the Kia Niro hybrid crossover later this year.
“Our range of new and upgraded cars will help us grow our sales even further in future, particularly to business and fleet buyers, and will keep us firmly on track to meet our ambitious mid-term plan of 500,000 European sales within the next three years.”
Despite not fully going on sale across Europe until later in Q1, Kia has already received more than 2,000 pre-orders for the all-new Kia Sportage compact SUV. The outgoing model remained Kia’s best-selling car in January 2016, and – combined with pre-orders for the new Sportage – posted year-on-year sales growth for Sportage-badged models of 19.1 per cent in the first month of the year.
Much of Kia’s growth in Europe in recent months is attributable to the range of new and recently upgraded cars now on sale across the continent.
The recently-upgraded Kia Picanto and Rio both saw double-digit year-on-year sales growth in January, with each car recording 11.7 per cent and 18.6 per cent higher sales in January 2016 compared to last year. The Kia Carens MPV has also seen sales growth of 10.4 per cent.
The number of European-manufactured models sold by Kia also continues to rise. Models produced at the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Žilina, Slovakia – where Kia produces the cee’d model family, Sportage and Venga – accounted for 56.3 per cent of all cars sold in Europe in January. Monthly sales of European-manufactured cars grew 7.4 per cent compared to the same month in 2015.
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