Kia sketches next-gen Optima

Kia is getting a head start generating buzz around its 2010 New York auto show offerings, with a set of conceptual sketches of its upcoming Magentis/Optima.

...although, let's be honest, it probably won't. (Kia Magentis)
We can only hope the Kia Magentis looks as good in the round as these sketches look on paper. Kia Motors

Kia is getting a head start generating buzz around its 2010 New York auto show offerings, with a set of conceptual sketches of its upcoming Magentis. Magentis not ringing a bell? Perhaps you're more familiar with the sedan's North American nameplate: the Kia Optima.

Kia Magnetis concept sketch
The Kia Magentis will bow at the 2010 New York auto show. Kia Motors

The Optima appears to be receiving some rather substantial changes for the next generation, although the previous design was so forgettable that we're having a hard time calling up a mental image. Changes include increased width and length, while simultaneously lowering the roof line for a more coupe-like profile, a la Volkswagen CC. Up front, the Optima receives a grill and light combo that is very reminiscent of the Forte Koup. Out back, the sedan features wrap-around tail lamps, dual exhausts, and some complex sheet metal creasing.

Surprisingly, Kia claims that the next-gen Optima will go on sale as early as autumn 2010 in non-European markets (that means us). We're not sure whether that release date will include the rumored Kia hybrid drivetrain, or if that will be a mid-cycle refresh. It'll be interesting to see how these sketches pan out in three dimensions when the Magentis/Optima debuts in New York in April, 2010.

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