Kia unveils next-generation Optima

Kia previews its next-generation Optima before its official unveiling at the New York auto show.

Next-generation Kia Optima revealed
We're fans of the LED running lamps that Kia added to the lower grill opening on the Optima, but its fender vents are so 2008. Kia Motors

Next-gen Kia Optima revealed
The next Kia Optima at least looks like it could be another hit for the Korean automaker. Kia Motors

The current Kia Optima is a bit of an also-ran in the US sedan market; however, that may be about to change. A few weeks ago, Kia released conceptual sketches of the upcoming Magentis-Optima sedan. This week, we received the first official photos of the sedan, which is set to bow at the 2010 New York auto show.

Although the slab-sided sedan is much taller than the low-slung sketch we saw, the next-generation Optima shown in the photos appears to be longer and wider than the current model is. If you look closely at the front end,  you'll see that the basic architecture of Optima's visage is mostly intact. Kia's changes to the Optima include a larger lower grill opening and an elevated hood, most likely lifted to meet pedestrian safety regulations.

We'll be taking a closer look at the next Kia Optima--and hopefully taking a peek under its hood--when it appears at the 2010 New York auto show next month.

 

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