Images of the 2011 Kia Optima have been released today, giving us our first look at the new car before its New York debut. So far, we know little about the car beyond what we can see here, but we like what we see.
Remarkably enough, the new Optima looks a lot like the sketches we saw a few weeks ago (pictured below), and that’s a very good thing. The current Optima may have been updated with Kia’s new corporate grille, but it wasn’t enough to really bring the car up to date. The new car we’ll see at New York, though, rectifies that nicely.
As the sketches indicated, the new Optima is considerably sleeker and more aggressive than the outgoing car. Though Kia’s saving the juiciest details for the show, we’ve been told that the new car is longer, wider and lower than the old one. We can see it also has a much higher window line that makes the greenhouse look shorter and sleeker, and while the general shape of the headlights and grille clearly identify it as an Optima, the overall style is thoroughly updated.
Kia’s silence means we’ll have to wait until New York to find out what changes, if any, have been made to the interior, suspension and drivetrain. It’s possible the new Optima will retain the current car’s 175-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and 194-horsepower, 2.7-liter V-6 with their five-speed manual and automatic transmissions, but it seems more likely we’ll see updates under the hood as well.