Kia Optima set for 2011 UK launch

The change of name for the D-segment model is complemented by a new design language from the Japanese manufacturer, well known for its stylish and unique model range.

Kia’s DNA language has resulted in a longer, wider and lower model than the Magentis and features dual exhausts, solar glass and wing mirror-mounted indicators.

Led by ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer, the design team has developed a coupe-like profile for the Optima with flared wheel arches and a sloping rear window.

"The Optima is a new strand in Kia’s evolving design DNA with a blend of simple and fluid lines and elegant but uncomplicated shapes that draw the attention of the eye in much the same fashion as a perfectly-tailored fine Italian suit," explained Chief Design Officer Schreyer.

Kia has also revealed plans to build its first ever hybrid model in an Optima in 2011, although so far it has only been announced for the North American market.

Initially in Europe, a 2.0-litre petrol and 1.7-litre turbo-diesel will be offered with the Optima with a choice of six speed manual and automatic engines.

The lightweight saloon will be one of the safest Kia cars ever, claims the manufacturer. The Optima will feature six airbags, ABS, ESC, traction control, brake assists, hill assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Equipment and trim levels will be announced closer to the release date in 2011, but Kia has promised generously equipped models at the top of the range.

Prices for the Kia Optima saloon will be announced closer to the launch, where it will replace the Kia Magentis.