2013 Kia Optima Hybrid receives upgraded powertrain

Article by Christian A., on March 12, 2013

Kia’s Optima Hybrid for 2013, which will be available with numerous powertrain refinements, is expected to be critically praised similar to the ones that came before it. The Optima midsize sedan has earned awards for Kia Motors America because of its excellent design, performance and value. The Optima Hybrid that came out in 2011 ushered in a new standard of efficiency to the name plate.

Kia has announced that the updated 2013 Optima Hybrid uses a powertrain that’s more performance-driven and fuel-efficient. It also comes with premium features as well as offers a bigger cargo space. The 2013 Optima Hybrid offers smoother handling and has improved drivability due to its more powerful 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more robust 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery.

Even if the combined 199hp rating is a bit lower than before and was dropped from 206, the combined 235 lb-ft of torque is much higher (than the 195 lb-ft it produced previously). The result is an Optima Hybrid that has more power and is more responsive. The Optima Hybrid is offered in two trim levels: base and EX.

The EPA has given the base model an estimated rating of 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined. This means that the Optima Hybrid has a higher efficiency level than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the EX model offers an EPA estimated 35/39/371.

Aside from improvements in performance and efficiency, the 2013 Optima Hybrid will also get a bigger trunk space due to the repackaging of its battery pack. The EX model comes with navigation with back-up camera3, an 8-speaker Infinity audio system4, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and a set of 17-inch wheels. It also comes with a wide array of amenities.

Kia built the Optima Hybrid on the success of its gasoline-powered Optima, providing better aerodynamics and with parts that are lighter. Kia equipped the base and EX with 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, respectively. These are more aerodynamic and lighter, helping to lessen the weight and drag, while at the same time, it goes well with the design of the Optima.

In coming out with new models, Kia Motors is known to follow the principle that vehicles should be dynamic, show high quality, and best of all, have passion. This is the philosophy that was utilized for the new Optima making it have that elegant but high-performance look. It also has that sleek stance and distinct profile. The face of this model is made more striking and the dominant feature is the signature grille with the projector headlamps on each side.

There are a number of features fitted on the exterior as standard. These include the indicators and solar glass placed on the wing mirrors and the dual exhausts. Kia will be making available other features, which will depend on the trim level. Said features consist of, among others, heated exterior mirrors and fog lights. The door handles can come in chrome or the same color as that of the body.

Offered as well will be the alloy 17-inch wheels fitted to which are the 215/55 R17 tires. Looking at the profile, the appearance is similar to that of a coupe. For the new Optima though, this is highlighted with the sweeping chrome arc which begins at the A-pillars and goes through the C-pillars. The profile reveals a unique design motif which improves the proportions while making the car look lower.

Meanwhile the roofline connects the wheelbase, which has been extended to 2,795 mm, to the shoulder which is made more prominent and placed higher which then goes to the sculpted flanks. The flared wheel arches combined with the steeply-sloping window in the rear give this saloon that muscular and graceful stance. Kia revealed that for the higher trim levels, models will have the HID headlights that come with auto levelling.

The rear lights meanwhile will make use of LED. There is also notably a distinct design on the front grille. A lip spoiler is added in the rear as well. These trim levels will also include aero wiper blades, red brake calipers, and sculpted side sills. Further, included as well is the alloy 18-inch machined-finish wheels in black fitted to which are the 225/45 R18 tires.

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Topics: kia, kia optima, hybrid

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