Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Kia’s marketing department has yet to decide on what to call the Magentis replacement, due to debut at the Paris motor show in October.
The nameplate ‘Optima’, which is the U.S name, won’t be used in Europe, so an all-new name is likely. Company insiders were originally debating between ‘K5’, as it’s known in South Korea and ‘Optima’.
Name decision aside, well-placed Kia sources have revealed that a downsized 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine will be one of the engine choices, producing 150bhp.
The newcomer is longer, wider and lower and sits on a longer wheelbase than the Magentis. This has drastically increased both cabin and luggage space. Kia admits that the Magentis will never likely to be a major seller in Europe, but believes the mid-sized saloon segment is one in which it must compete in, as a volume manufacturer. However, the real demand for the car will come from the U.S and South Korea, where its enhanced styling and dynamics should hold appeal for buyers.
The same well-placed source also revealed that an estate version of the car will be built. When asked about this body style, chief designer Peter Schreyer said, “I would love to do station wagon and coupé versions of the car. The station wagon would only really work for Europe but the coupé would work in the U.S.”
When the car arrives in the UK mid-2011, it will arrive with a range of petrol and diesel engines and transmissions. Luxury amenities like heated steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps, keyless entry and ventilated front & rear seats will unlikely be available in the UK, however, do expect a panoramic glass sunroof, heated front seats with leather interior, 18" alloy wheels, auto-dimming rear-view mirror to be standard on certain grades. Prices will increase to around £20,000 from the current £18,995.