Category Archives: KMC Global News

Kia Motors and Rafael Nadal back again at Australian Open 2017

Kia Motors supplies 110 official fleet vehicles for Australian Open 2017

As the major sponsor of Australian Open 2017, Kia Motors handed over a fleet of 110 official tournament vehicles to Tennis Australia during a ceremony in Melbourne attended by executives from Kia Motors Australia and Tennis Australia, as well as Kia’s global brand ambassador and former Australian Open champion, Rafael Nadal. This year celebrates Kia’s 16th consecutive sponsorship of the Australian Open, and Kia will roll out various on- and off-line programs for tennis fans around the world.

“We are delighted once again to accept the fleet of Kia vehicles to help keep the Australian Open moving smoothly over the next few weeks, connecting visiting fans from around the world to the biggest annual sporting event in January,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley, said.

“It’s a huge logistical exercise to move all our players, officials, media and staff around Melbourne during the tournament and every year this is achieved thanks to Kia’s reliability and support.”

This year’s fleet of vehicles, including 50 Carnival MPVs, 40 Sorento CUVs and 20 Optima mid-size sedans, will ensure smooth and safe transportation for Australian Open 2017 by transporting players, officials and VIPs to and from matches and other activities throughout the year’s first Grand Slam tournament. Tennis superstar and Kia global brand ambassador Rafael Nadal joined the ceremony as he handed over the ceremonial key to fleet to Tennis Australia.

Over the past 15 years, Kia’s courtesy fleet has clocked up close to five million kilometers in tens of thousands of journeys carrying champions and journeymen alike in comfort and safety.

This year the Kia courtesy fleet will be continue that tradition, driven by more than 200 volunteer drivers who expect to clock up more than 400,000 kilometers in thousands of journeys shuttling players, officials, media and fans during Australian Open 2017.

As part of the vehicle handover ceremony, Kia also introduced its new Stinger sports sedan, which just had its world premiere last week at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Also unveiled during the ceremony was a giant Kia tennis racquet which will be displayed throughout the tournament for fan interaction at Melbourne Park. Inspired by the theme ‘Everyone has the Power to Surprise’, Kia invites visitors and fans at Melbourne Park to write their names on the racquet strings. A TV commercial featuring Nadal and the giant racquet can be seen at https://youtu.be/KgE97y8Vamc.

“The Australian Open is Kia’s longest running major sports sponsorship, and as a proud sponsor we’re delighted to be a driving force behind the growth of the tournament, not only by providing safe, stylish and comfortable transportation for players and participants, but also by engaging with tennis fans worldwide with various on & off-line campaigns to share the excitement we are about to witness over next few weeks,” said Bryan Cho, Vice President of the Overseas Marketing Group at Kia Motors Corporation.

Kia celebrates the spirit of the American road trip at 2015 SEMA Show

Kia celebrates the spirit of the American road trip at 2015 SEMA Show

  • Four all-new Kia concept vehicles debut
  • Trail’ster electric hybrid AWD concept makes first appearance at SEMA
  • Fun and functional Ballast Point Sedona returns to serve showgoers

Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled four all-new customized vehicles at the opening day of the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, showcasing America’s cultural diversity and our shared love of the automobile. Including a first-time SEMA appearance by the Trail’ster electric hybrid AWD concept that was first unveiled at last year’s Chicago Auto Show and a return by popular demand of the Ballast Point Sedona, Kia’s 2015 SEMA display commemorates a uniquely American form of wanderlust: A road trip to the farthest corners of the country and everywhere in between.

“Over the course of our 21 years in U.S. market, we’ve watched with pride as our vehicles have helped people travel and explore and enjoy all that this country has to offer,” said Tim Chaney, vice president, marketing communications, KMA. “This year’s SEMA show gives us the opportunity to embrace that spirit of adventure found on the open road as we highlight the diversity of America and the many ways that people personalize their vehicles in pursuit of their passions and the expression of individuality.”

A total of six custom vehicles are showcased in Kia’s booth at SEMA to help tell the story of an all-American road trip inspired by unique traits of different regional landscapes throughout the nation.

A1A Optima

Florida may be best known as one of America’s most family friendly vacation destinations, but the state’s rich history and subtropical splendor is best discovered from behind the wheel of an open-top touring car. The Sunshine State is home to the A1A highway, a more than 300-mile-long, meandering black ribbon of tarmac – set off by crystal-white sand, aquamarine ocean waters, and abundant wildlife – which terminates in Key West, almost a stone’s throw from Cuba. The A1A Optima takes inspiration from this iconic byway by letting the sunshine in and taking the all-new 2016 Optima in a new direction. Its high style and high-end details make this the perfect car for Miami’s tony South Beach, the laid-back Key West lifestyle and all points in between.

The A1A Optima features a nod to America’s roadster fascination with its sliced top and shortened windshield. But this isn’t any average chop job. The artists at LUX Motorwerks have created a show car that is road trip-ready. Reinforced steel tubes have been discretely hidden within the body-in-white so that the vehicle retains a rigid structure. Invoking a concept-car appearance, the back doors of the A1A Optima swing open on rear-mounted hinges, adding a touch of whimsy and fun while complementing the roadster style. The exterior is inspired by the vibrant colors of South Beach and features a custom turquoise paint scheme. A gleaming set of 20-in. HRE S104 wheels and Tiarra Luxury upper and lower grilles give the A1A Optima a contemporary aesthetic that’s completely at home in the simmering South Beach scene.

The interior of the A1A Optima has been extensively re-worked to match the eye-catching exterior design. Deep bucket seats up front and custom double buckets in back are separated by extended armrests and a unique center console. Butter-soft cream and titanium leather covers the seats and extends throughout the interior with accents painted an attractive silver. The powerful 245-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine is combined with a high-performance exhaust, giving the A1A Optima a throaty voice. A Ksport coilover sport suspension lowers the vehicle’s ride height and raises its visual appeal.

PacWest Adventure Sorento

Home to both the Emerald City (Seattle) and the Rose City (Portland) and thousands of square miles of forest in between, the Pacific Northwest embodies a relaxed, no-hassle lifestyle that helped launch a music revolution in the 20th century and a craft beer revolution in the 21st century. People who call this territory home thrive on the outdoors and nature, and the PacWest Adventure Sorento is the perfect companion to get them there.

Designed and hand-built by the creative team at LGE-CTS Motorsports, the exterior of the PacWest Adventure Sorento is the product of a labor-intensive, completely custom, multi-layer painting process utilizing pearls and candy effects that give the vehicle an ever-changing chameleon effect. Toned-down hues of electric and deep-forest green combine to capture the rugged beauty of the region. All chrome accents are painted matte black to provide some visual toughness to the Sorento’s sporty appearance. To scare away the shadows and potentially spot an errant Sasquatch running through the trees, the Sorento is equipped with twin LED low-profile light bars, one of which is mounted within the tubular sculpture of the front bumper, the other nestled into the roof rack.

To provide the PacWest Adventure Sorento with go-anywhere capability, LGE-CTS fabricated an all-new front under carriage assembly to allow for greater wheel travel and a taller stance. At the rear, retooled and lengthened connecting and trailing arms better locate the tires for off-road excursions and lend to the vehicle’s menacing stance. In all, the PacWest Adventure Sorento rides six inches higher than a standard Sorento. The high-riding suspension enabled LGE-CTS to bolt on some serious off-road footwear in the form of LT285/70R17 Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts, which are wrapped around a set of BMF’s new S.S.D. 17×8.5-in. beadlock-style wheels lurking beneath custom fender flares. Soaking up the rough-and-tumble Pacific Northwest landscape and keeping the PacWest Sorento sunny side up are Fox Racing 2.0 coilover shocks embraced by Eibach springs. New fabricated front and rear bumpers with integrated wraparound steel skid plates and side bars protect the artistic paint job when the going gets rough. A MileMarker PE4500ES winch threaded with an ultra-strong synthetic strap will come in handy when others are mired in mud. LGE-CTS retained Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille frame while utilizing free-breathing wire mesh from GrillCraft as a tasteful custom touch. The tailor-made roof rack holds everything needed for an overnight camping trip, including an ARB tow strap and E-Z deflator kit. The stock Sorento’s 290 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque are enough for anything short of a vertical climb, but the new WFJ snorkel intake system allows the PacWest Adventure Sorento to be a land-based submersible.

The stock Sorento is focused on cosseting its occupants in supreme comfort. The PacWest Adventure Sorento, while still very comfortable, is more focused on its intention to get its passengers deep into the forests of the region and safely back out again. Interior features include custom painted dash- and door-panel inserts, a Daystar switch panel and rocker switches to activate the LED lights, and rugged floor mats. Stitched Kia logos found in the headrests and the seat cushions include custom tire-tread embroidery with green leather back and thigh supports. A color 8-inch Alpine Mobile Media entertainment system with front camera rounds out an artfully crafted off-roader.

Photo Safari Sedona

Across many regions of the U.S. during this time of year, nature puts on an awe-inspiring show of color. Brilliant red, yellow, and orange comingle with earthy caramel, auburn, and espresso, and nowhere is this riot of fall foliage more abundant and wondrous than the Northeast. The region has cast its iridescent lure to amateur and professional photographers for generations, and the Photo Safari Sedona has been designed to capture the region in all of its stunning beauty. Better yet, the vehicle would be an excellent companion on any photo safari.

The Photo Safari Sedona takes the term multi-purpose vehicle to another level. What began as a standard eight-passenger Sedona minivan has been transformed to a two-passenger image-capturing machine. Designed and crafted by the creative team at LGE-CTS Motorsports with multiple custom features, this very capable on- and off-road vehicle can be put to the test with endless possibilities for photographers to capture and edit still images and videos – day or night – while traveling throughout the scenic Northeastern regions of the United States.

Consulting with professional photographers throughout the build process, nearly every aspect and component of the stock Sedona was modified or enhanced. A custom fabricated tubular steel roof rack is utilized for mounting traditional DSLR cameras, a high definition WASPcam action sports camera system, booms, or jigs. It’s strong enough to support a photographer (or a brave production assistant), who can be secured safely to the outside of
the vehicle via a safety harness and integrated mounting hooks. The rear bed area has been left open for easy accessibility and has multiple compartments for storage, exterior outlet ports, and a hidden compartment for lower angle shots. The Photo Safari Sedona is equipped with a Street Scene Speed Grille and a Hellwig auto level 2,500-lb. airbag suspension system that automatically adjusts ride height. Designed for use day or night, the Photo Safari Sedona incorporates ultra-bright 6-in. KC HiLites pro-sports gravity LED lights on all four sides of the vehicle. An easy-to-spot dash-mounted Daystar switch panel helps instantly turn a darkened glen to daylight. The Photo Safari Sedona has on- and off-road capability with Nitto Dura Grappler 265/65R17 tires wrapped around 17-in. Method “Rally” wheels bathed in a matte gold finish.

The attention to detail continues inside with painted interior trim pieces and a custom upholstered driver’s seat. Removal of the Sedona’s middle seats help transform the vehicle to a rolling professional editing studio packed with the latest technology, including a 27-in. iMac with 5K retina display. The technology is backed up by a military-grade battery that will keep the studio running for hours without starting the engine. The battery automatically recharges once the Photo Safari Sedona is underway. A handcrafted walnut desk, extension-arm keyboard tray, and multiple storage cabinets designed by the master woodworkers at Highline Cabinets keeps the studio tidy. A custom Beard Torque racing seat with multi-point harness on an Extendobed allows the seat to slide out of the rear passenger door three feet, or be locked in place within the editing bay. Rugged RW wireless radio headsets provide uninterrupted communication between the driver and photographer, and a 30-in.power retractable rear window rolls down for added viewing capability. The removal of the front passenger seat creates room for large-item storage, and Mac’s tie-down mounts keep the equipment secure when the going gets rough.

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

America’s love of the automobile inspires enthusiasts to get creative and have fun with their vehicular passions, and there are few places in the country where more fun is had behind the wheel than in the South. With its origins dating back to the 1970s, mud racing or mud bogging has grown in popularity across the U.S. and even into Canada. There is just something inexplicably enjoyable about getting dirty, and the Forte Koup Mud Bogger is more at home caked in grime than sitting pretty on the SEMA show floor.

When Kia teamed with Lux Motorwerks to create the Forte Koup Mud Bogger, both organizations agreed that fun had to be front and center. Giving this one-of-a-kind Koup the clearance to tackle extreme terrain started with a generous four-inch body and suspension lift along with meaty 28-in. off-road tires on Fuel Off-Road 15×10-in. Revolver wheels powder coated white. To further accommodate the massive wheel and tire combo, the fenders and side skirts were modified and custom riveted fender flares added. Additionally, the Koup was fitted with a hand-built, white-powder-coated brush guard and a Rigid LED light bar to protect the Midnight Sapphire Forte Koup from the terrain, day or night. The red, white, and blue custom paint scheme is as beautiful as it is patriotic.

A panoramic roof with a vinyl pushback top gives way to the stripped-down interior where the carpet has been removed and the entire floor is lined with Line-X protective coating. The stock seats of the Forte Koup have also been replaced with two Sparco Evo II Red Race Seats with Sparco 4PT Snap-In Harnesses and a Sparco L575 steering wheel. Roll cages are required equipment when pounding through sludge, and the Forte Koup Mud Bogger incorporates a hand-built roll cage powder coated white to match the wheels. The Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger is purpose-built for off-road fun and is the kind of car you might find when wanderlust takes you down the road less traveled.

Ballast Point Sedona

Previously shown at the 2014 SEMA show, the Ballast Point Sedona is making a comeback, representing sunny California as part of Kia’s American road trip for the 2015 SEMA show. Built in partnership with Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and serving premium handcrafted beers from the San Diego-based craft brewery, the Sedona has been completely redesigned to echo the nautical theme for which the specialty brewer is known.

The Ballast Point Sedona features a hand-formed solid mahogany shell with a flip-top roof and fold-down front bar. Removing the roof required the installation of a custom boxed-steel frame that incorporates heavy-duty hinges and struts to allow for the wood clam-shell top to open a full 90 degrees. While one of the Sedona’s power sliding doors has been welded shut, the other remains fully functional to allow access for a bartender into the open-air cabin. The rear shell is also removable, allowing patrons to enjoy a frosty beverage from the tailgate as well. The passenger compartment has been gutted to make room for two functioning Micro Matic taps, a jockey box with 120-feet of copper beer-cooling coils, and up to four half-barrel kegs of Ballast Point’s finest. The front passenger seat has been removed to accommodate storage for extra kegs and supplies.

Trail’ster

Based on the brand’s iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle, the turbocharged Trail’ster – with its Polar Pearl Snowdrift/Terra Bronze Metallic paint scheme, roll-top canvas roof, and armored aluminum skid plates – captures the essence of an advanced and capable CUV. It is intended for those venturing on a road trip to escape their urban environs in search of higher-elevation playgrounds in the Rocky Mountains where snow, mud, streams, and trails abound. Efficient and lightweight, the Trail’ster is ideal for transporting adventurers and their gear. With its rugged, functional and upscale approach to an active mountain-focused lifestyle, Trail’ster was dreamt up at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger concepts.

Underscoring Kia’s focus on all-wheel drive capability, the Trail’ster enables a wide array of mountain activities, from skiing and snowboarding to camping, hiking and mountain biking. Whether it’s trekking up to a high, snowy summit or traipsing down a muddy fire road to a piney trailhead, the Trail’ster – thanks to a rear axle-mounted electric all-wheel-drive system – is all about surefootedness in the wild.

The exterior color was inspired by the earthy combination of springtime snow and mud, the terrain for which the Trail’ster has been created to travel confidently through on its way to outdoor destinations high above sea level. The Polar Pearl Snowdrift exterior paint is a modern neutral color, against which the warm and contrasting Terra Bronze Metallic tone of the roof and lower cladding brings connection to the soft dirt of roads less traveled. Anodized fire-red wheel accents and polished billet aluminum sections infuse a purposeful and sophisticated aesthetic to the Trail’ster’s precise design, taking inspiration from high-tech, high-performance outdoor sporting gear.

Kia Sorento wins coveted Public Car of the Year title at Middle East Car of the Year Awards

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  • Sorento wins MECOTY Award for Public Car of the Year after securing highest number of public votes from across the region

Kia’s all-new Sorento emerged as the winner of the coveted Public Car of the Year honor at the prestigious 2015 Middle East Car of the Year (MECOTY) Awards. The Kia Sorento received the highest number of public votes from across the region amongst all 48 nominated vehicles. The results were announced at a gala award ceremony in Dubai on 29th October.

The accolade comes soon after Kia Motors’ milestone of exporting its 15 millionth vehicle in August 2015, coincidentally a 2016 Sorento with the United Arab Emirates being the destination. The Middle East is one of Kia’s most successful markets as the region contributes significantly to the brand’s global sales volumes.

Commenting on the Sorento’s Public Car of the Year award, Mr. Alex Chung, President of Kia Motors Middle East and Africa Regional Headquarters, said, “The people have spoken! The incredible vote of confidence from the Middle East customers themselves is a fantastic achievement for all of us at Kia and will inspire us all to try even harder to satisfy the exacting standards of car buyers in this region.”

“Receiving this award is a joyous milestone for Kia as it is a clear sign of our cutting-edge innovativeness as a manufacturer. The aim we had with the Sorento was to set new standards in driver comfort, aesthetics and automotive technology and we are now realizing those objectives. This award makes our efforts all the more meaningful and rewarding because it demonstrates the success and recognition we have earned in the region. It is a tremendous moment for us also because of the quality of the cars we were competing against, which shows that Kia is a pioneering leader in a market filled with exemplary brands,” Mr. Chung said after receiving the award.

MECOTY is regarded as the most prestigious award in the Middle East’s automotive industry. Leading global car brands competed in different categories including Group A (Sedan/ Executive), Group B (SUV/Truck) and Group C (Performance). The winners were determined by a judging panel comprising prominent automotive journalists from across the Middle East. Members of the jury panel represented countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Included in the judging criteria was determining whether the nominated vehicles met the demands of customers in the region.

Kia Cadenza earns AutoPacific’s 2015 Ideal Vehicle Award in Large Car category

2015 Cadenza

  • Advanced technology, safety features and world-class styling continue to earn Cadenza critical acclaim
  • AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award recognizes product designs that most completely fulfill buyers’ needs and expectations
  • Cadenza adds to its Vehicle Satisfaction Award earlier this year with an Ideal Vehicle Award for the Large Car category
  • The premium and stylish Kia Cadenza sedan has earned AutoPacific’s 2015 Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) in the Large Car category (tie). AutoPacific’s IVA is based on over 66,000 surveys completed by new-car owners in the first half of 2015 and recognizes products that most closely meet buyer requirements and expectations. Based on the responses from vehicle owners, the survey encompasses the vehicle’s ride and handling, driver’s seat comfort, interior storage, safety features, engine power and acceleration, and technology.

    “The introduction of the Cadenza was a response to customer demandfor a Kia product that was larger and even more luxurious than the SXL trims of our Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan, and as our first step into the premium segments, it helped continue the transformation of the Kia brand, paving the way to our luxury flagship sedan, the K900 (‘Quoris’ in some markets),” said Orth Hedrick, Vice President, Product Planning, Kia Motors America (KMA). “AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award is important because it represents the voice of the customer and offers confirmation that the Cadenza’s blend of world-class design, quality and features is hitting the mark with Kia owners.”

    The IVA is Cadenza’s second honor from AutoPacific in 2015, following a Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) earlier this summer.

    About AutoPacific

    AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm, founded in 1986, also conducts industry forecasting and extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area. Additional information can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: http://www.autopacific.com and http://vehiclevoice.com/

Kia Motors global sales rise by 3.0 percent in March

kia plant

  • Kia records year-on-year sales growth in China (11.3%), Korea (8.5%) and North America (7.9%) in March
  • Kia’s best-selling car in overseas markets in March is the Rio (K2) B-segment sedan

Kia Motors Corporation announced today its March 2015 global sales figures (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants) for passenger cars, recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles, recording a total of 269,749 units sold. This figure represents 3.0% year-on-year growth compared to the same month of 2014.

In March, Kia posted year-on-year sales increases in China (11.3% growth with 61,431 units sold), the domestic Korean market (8.5% growth with 42,305 units sold) and North America (7.9% growth with 65,426 units sold).

Cumulatively through the first three months of 2015, Kia’s global sales totalled 690,775 units for a year-on-year increase of 0.5%. Korea (114,512 units sold), North America (155,659 units sold) and China (166,641 units sold) have seen a 6.0%, 5.8% and 2.0% rise in sales, respectively.

Kia’s bestselling model in overseas markets in March 2015 was the B-segment Rio (known as ‘K2’ in China) with 39,934 units sold. The Sportage compact CUV was the second best seller with 38,165 units sold, while the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Forte’ or ‘K3’ in some markets), Optima D-segment sedan and mid-size Sorento CUV followed with 35,698, 22,479 and 19,060 units sold, respectively.

Seoul world premiere for fastback Kia Novo concept car

kia novo

  • Modern, coupé-inspired design for Kia’s latest concept
  • Minimalist interior design with high-tech features
  • Powered by 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT
  • Hints at the design direction for Kia’s next-generation compact cars

Kia Motors unveiled its latest concept car – the Kia Novo – today at the Seoul Motor Show 2015. Featuring bold, coupé-inspired styling and a minimalist, driver-focused cabin, the Kia Novo hints at the design direction for the brand’s next-generation compact vehicles.

‘Novo’ – refreshing, rejuvenating, innovating

Taking its name from the Latin ‘novatus’ (meaning renewed or refreshed), the Kia Novo concept is aimed at modern urbanites with stressful jobs and frantic schedules. Interpreted by Kia’s designers, the name ‘Novo’ represents the concept of making something new and fresh. The Novo establishes a calming, focused environment in which drivers can refresh and rejuvenate as they transition from one life commitment to the next.

Fittingly, ‘novatus’ also provides the origin of the English word, ‘innovation’, which the Novo concept brings to life with thoroughly innovative styling and high-tech interior features. The Kia Novo takes inspiration from classic, traditional craftsmanship and vehicle design, and reinterprets it for the 21st Century using modern materials and cutting-edge production techniques to create a sharp, dynamic body over a state-of-the-art powertrain.

Dramatic coupé-inspired exterior design

Designed at Kia’s state-of-the-art Namyang design center in Korea, and based on a specially-adapted version of the Cerato (Forte) platform, the Novo bears a coupé-inspired silhouette and unmistakeable Kia styling. The Novo’s minimal front overhangs, longer rear overhangs and fastback roofline, as well as a slim, long glass area, give it a raked, sporty profile.

The smooth, geometric design of the car’s shape is blended with a series of sharp, decisive lines and forms around the body. The front of the Novo sports the latest interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille, now wider and more deeply embedded, and slim new laser headlamps. Low, wide air intakes house additional laser headlamps, which frame the Novo’s bold face, emphasize its low, wide stance and give the car a unique light signature.

The large front wheel arches lead directly into a strong, consistent shoulder line to meet the rear laser lamps, whose shape echoes those of the front for an identical light signature. The rear of the car uses prominent lines and low triangular exhausts to add greater width and volume to its shape and emphasize the car’s sportiness and on-road stability. Crisp lines surrounding the rear of the car ensure a high aerodynamic efficiency.

The Novo’s sharply creased bodywork gives the car a clean, modern appearance when viewed from the side, with strong lines on the doors, skirts and aluminum wing vents. Rear-hinged doors complete the car’s striking profile appearance, with slim, central pop-out door handles running level to the finely-sculpted aluminum door mirrors. The Novo’s diamond-cut alloy wheels feature a similarly sharp design, made up of straight edges and two-tone carbon and silver finish. Completing the Novo’s thoroughly contemporary look are an aluminum rear roof line and two-tone silver and green paint finish.

Driver-oriented interior with minimalist design forms

Designed as a sanctuary from the frenzied outside world, the Kia Novo’s cabin is a relaxing space in which to temporarily escape the stresses and strains of modern life. Focused solely on the driver, the minimalist interior provides few distractions from the task of driving, while all occupants benefit from plenty of space, a result of the car’s long body and intelligent packaging.

The long, wide dashboard, whose sharp lines are embellished with the use of leather, stitching and aluminum highlights, is angled towards the driver. The instrument binnacle shows relevant information through a compact three-dimensional hologram display, while a ‘blind control’ touch pad next to the steering wheel allows drivers to control the car’s many functions without having to take their eyes off the road ahead. The touch pad incorporates a fingerprint scanner, which automatically sets up elements of the car according to the driver’s preferences, such as music selection, audio volume and the type of information displayed. A wide touchscreen in the center of the dash provides the car’s full range of functionality to occupants.

As well as the neat, simple design forms that make up the dashboard and center console, the interior’s four individual dark brown leather sports seats add to the minimalist ambience of the cabin, each made up of simple linear shapes and featuring built-in inertia reel seatbelts to minimize ‘cabin clutter’.

1.6-liter T-GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT

The Novo is powered by the latest high-tech production Kia powertrain to match its dynamic looks. A 1.6-liter ‘Kappa’ turbo gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) engine has been paired with the brand’s seven speed DCT to power the front wheels. The result is decisive, sporty performance and impressive fuel economy for Kia’s latest show star.

The Kia Novo concept is fitted with innovative new ‘adaptive concave profile’ tires, with a sunken middle section between two contact points serving to cool the rubber and channel excess road water away from the wheels for greater grip. The unique 20-inch tires feature two slim contact points on the outer edges to provide lower rolling resistance and reduce road noise, while contributing to provide a high level of grip under cornering.

There are currently no plans to bring the Kia Novo concept to production, though Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to concept vehicles that precede them. The Kia Novo concept provides a glimpse into Kia’s plans for its future compact car line-up.

All-new 2016 Optima midsize sedan makes global debut at the New York International Auto Show

optima

  • Kia’s best-selling nameplate in US is passionately designed and obsessively crafted with European styling, a refined premium interior and significant ride and handling improvements
  • Optima matures into an expertly crafted sedan with two turbo engine choices and five trims, including the U.S.-exclusive SXL
  • Built at Kia’s U.S. plant*, Optima features reduced NVH and a more responsive, confident ride

Five years ago Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the re-designed Optima at the New York International Auto Show and introduced a game-changing midsize sedan that catalyzed the brand’s design-led transformation. History was repeated when the all-new 2016 Optima, a symbol of the Kia brand’s maturation through continuous refinement and obsessive attention to detail, made its debut here today. An instant hit with consumers looking for a fresh alternative to an otherwise staid segment, the Optima has been KMA’s top-selling vehicle for three consecutive years, and the all-new model is poised to continue that success.

Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL – when sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima will be built at Kia’s plant* in West Point, Georgia. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA.

“The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.”

Instantly Recognizable European Design

Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, revealing a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever.

The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.0 inch). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk.

The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K900. The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of bi-functional HID headlights – with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist – that illuminate the tarmac around corners.

The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan appearance. The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan.

The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors compliment the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky; a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments.

Exquisite Interior Craftsmanship

Optima’s interior is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia’s premium and luxury sedans, the Optima utilizes more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Optima’s luxurious interior is obsessively crafted with an impressive attention to detail and features real stitching along the dash and doors, complimented by tasteful metallic accents, varying by trim level.

The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia’s already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved.

The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. A stiffer seat frame reduces vibration and soft foam in the headrest, upper back and thigh-support areas allows occupants to nestle into seats with deeper side bolsters made with denser, more supportive foam. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. For added convenience, the 2016 Optima offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles. Depending on trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather or luxurious Nappa leather and two new interior colors – a rich merlot and a dark aubergine – are available.

Convenience and Technology

Kia’s cutting-edge connectivity system, UVO, comes standard with four additional eServices not previously available on Optima: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, Optima is Kia’s pilot vehicle for the introduction of AndroidTM Auto and Apple® CarPlay (late availability), which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. After connecting their smartphone to the head unit via the vehicle’s front fast-charge USB port (another fast-charge USB port is located in the rear seat), the 8-inch touchscreen screen displays the smartphone’s most important features. Core functions including music, messaging, navigation and voice calls are available via the screen, the steering wheel or via voice command2. Kia is one of the first to deliver this technology, which is available for select Android phones operating with Lollipop or Apple phones operating with iOS8.X or higher. Any future third-party apps that are added by either Android or Apple will be available for customers to enjoy from their respective app store.

While the standard six-speaker audio system will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiasts, true audiophiles will gravitate to the available Infinity® Premium Audio System, which includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi™ technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology breathes new life into your favorite music, restoring a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. Optima’s premium Infinity audio system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™7 Surround technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and detailed. Kia was one of the first automakers to incorporate Clari-Fi technology into their audio systems with the debut of the 2016 Sorento, and Optima is the first-ever Kia sedan to feature QuantumLogic Surround technology.

The all-new Optima takes convenience to the next level with a long list of available technologies across the various trim levels. Available on every Optima is a rear-camera display while SX and SXL trims offer an available 360-degree Around View Monitor8. Available driver-aid technology, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC)8, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)8, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)8 and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)8 – which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage – makes the task of driving easier and more convenient. Also available for the first time on any Kia vehicle are Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA), which recognizes oncoming traffic and automatically switches the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle has passed.

Smart Performance and Safety

The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car. The greater use of structural adhesive by more than 450 percent over the previous generation improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride.

Additional innovations were implemented to reduce NVH, lighten the vehicle and enhance aerodynamics. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia to feature a panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity. A larger full floor under cover helps reduce wind noise and aid fuel efficiency. Increased dash insulation, added windshield side molding and the increased use of structural adhesive ensure a quiet ride with reduced road and wind noise. Engine mounts, body panels and wheels all are stiffer on the all-new Optima, reducing vibrations, engine noise and road noise. Larger cross-member bushings are utilized to help isolate road and engine noise, as well as reducing engine vibration through the floor and steering wheel.

Improving ride and handling was a top priority for engineers. Overall, the chassis is lighter and stiffer, resulting in improved steering response, high-speed stability and handling. Moving the suspension location points of the front and rear sub-frames outward optimizes suspension geometry for a smoother ride over uneven pavement. Where the previous Optima made due with dual bushing mounts, increased lateral stiffness was achieved with a four-bushing mount system for both sub-frames. The increased stiffness pays dividends in improved steering response and tractability through corners. More robust wheel bearings up front and the addition of larger dual lower control arms at the rear also help refine the all-new Optima’s ride and handling characteristics. Available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response with a higher gear ratio.

The all-new Optima is available with three engine choices, striking a performance balance between sportiness and fuel efficiency. Two powerplants carry over from the previous generation, the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, available on the LX and EX models, and the 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine, available on the SXL and SX Turbo models. While the engines have yet to receive EPA certification, the 2.4-liter is estimated to produce 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbo is expected to generate approximately 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,350 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic® shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. Both engines have been retuned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM.

All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand. The transmission optimizes the engine’s responsiveness for a sporty feel that doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy. Also new for the Optima, Michelin® tires are available on all trims. All three engines channel energy through the front wheels.

New York world premiere for next-generation Kia Optima

Optima

Following its debut at the New York International Auto Show in 2010, the Kia Optima became a catalyst for the brand’s tremendous growth and has been the company’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for three years running. Now, five years later, Kia will return to New York on Wednesday, April 1 for the world debut of a passionately designed and obsessively crafted all-new version of its popular midsize sedan.

Kia Sportage ranks highest among small SUVs in 2015 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study

2015 Sportage

  • Top honor reinforces brand’s continued commitment to craftsmanship
  • Dynamic and capable crossover earns Kia’s first-ever Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) award
  • Sportage’s VDS award follows two consecutive Initial Quality Study (IQS) awards for the model in 2013 and 2014
  • J.D. Power 2015 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) has ranked the Kia Sportage as the leader in the Small SUV category, marking the first-ever VDS award in the brand’s history. The industry-wide study examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year old vehicles (2012 model year). Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). Thus, a lower score reflects a higher long-term quality level. The Sportage ranked first in a field of seven contenders with a score of 129 PP100. This latest recognition for Sportage follows the model’s two consecutive J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS) awards in 2013 and 2014.

    “We believe the results of the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study demonstrate Kia’s on-going commitment to quality and obsession with craftsmanship in building our world-class products,” said John Crowe, vice president, service & aftersale operations, Kia Motors America (KMA). “The Sportage is a clear example of how far the entire Kia model line-up has progressed, and this kind of quality is tangible evidence of our long-term strategy to enhance the Kia ownership experience.”

    VDS measures the long-term quality of vehicles, including new technologies and features currently available to buyers. It includes 32 nameplates and 228 models, covering 177 specific problem symptoms grouped into eight major vehicle categories.

World production premiere for Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder ‘Kappa’ engine

Kia Kappa T-GDI 1.0

  • World premiere for Kia’s new downsized 1.0-litre T-GDI engine
  • Developed in-house at Kia’s Namyang R&D centre
  • Newly-developed laser-drilled injectors enable more efficient combustion
  • Single-scroll turbocharger with electric scavenging system
  • Innovative dual-thermostat cooling for cylinder heads and engine block

Kia’s all-new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) ‘Kappa’ engine will make its world production debut at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015. Previewed by Kia in a special powertrain technology exhibition at Geneva in 2013, the new downsized engine is now fitted in a production model for the first time – the new Kia cee’d GT Line.

Kia’s new T-GDI Kappa engine embraces the industry trend towards smaller capacity, higher efficiency units which consume less fuel and emit fewer emissions – while still delivering responsive performance.

World production debut – the new Kia cee’d GT Line

The first car to benefit from Kia’s new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine will be the new cee’d GT Line range. In this application, the new Kappa engine will develop 120 ps and 172 Nm torque, and has been engineered to deliver lower CO2 emissions than the 1.6-litre GDI engine found in other cee’d models, pending homologation closer to the GT Line’s launch later in the year.

After the cee’d GT Line, which goes on sale across Europe in Q4 2015, the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine will be made available on a range of other Kia models in future.

Fulfilling a sustainable engine downsizing strategy

The new power unit is the first of Kia’s upcoming range of downsized engines to make its debut in Europe, and has been developed in-house by Kia’s powertrain development team at its Namyang, Korea R&D centre.

Engineers’ key aims throughout development were to provide immediate engine response, highly-efficient combustion and access to maximum torque from low engine speeds. These represent the cornerstones of Kia’s wider strategy to develop downsized engines for its global model line-up.

Throughout the T-GDI’s development, Kia’s R&D teams have aimed for a 10 to 15 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the brand’s current 1.6-litre GDI engine.

More efficient combustion with high pressure fuel injection and improved air flow

The new downsized engine features a newly-developed laser-drilled injector, with six individual holes. Instead of consistently injecting the fuel-air mixture onto certain points within the combustion chamber, the laser-drilled holes, laid out in a pyramid shape, provide a more even spread of fuel and air throughout the cylinder. Backed by a high pressure pump, the new laser-drilled injectors are able to provide fuel injection pressure of up to 200 bar.

The adoption of a straight air intake port – instead of the gently curved port in Kia’s existing 1.6-litre GDI engine – further improves air flow to the combustion chamber for improved fuel efficiency. The straight air intake port ends in a sharper air intake throat, reducing air resistance at all stages of air intake to the engine, improving cylinder tumble flow for faster, more efficient combustion and suppressing engine knocking.

Single-scroll turbocharger with efficient electric scavenging motor

The T-GDI’s single-scroll turbocharger is paired with an electric waste-gate motor, which improves the turbocharger’s performance with a highly efficient air scavenging strategy. As well as scavenging clean air for the engine to re-use for combustion, it is able to open the waste-gate at the same time to improve waste air flow.

This innovative system allows for greater low-end torque, more immediate engine response from any throttle position, and improved fuel economy under higher engine loads. In the Kia cee’d GT Line, the engine’s maximum 172 Nm torque is available across a wide 1,500-4,100 rpm range, with maximum power arriving at 6,000 rpm.

Lower exhaust gas temperatures and split cooling

The engine is also fitted with an integrated exhaust manifold, which lowers the exhaust gas temperature slightly. As well as improving high speed, high load fuel economy, lower temperatures also result in cleaner emissions by allowing the catalytic converter to operate more effectively.

The engine’s temperature is closely regulated with the adoption of a new dual-thermostat split cooling system. This allows the engine block and cylinder heads to be cooled independent of one another, the main thermostat controlling the flow of engine coolant to cylinder heads above 88°C to reduce knocking, and an engine block thermostat shutting off coolant flow above 105°C to reduce mechanical friction and aid efficiency.