Kia Optima Limited puts Korean automaker in the limelight

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Close-up of the steering wheel of a 2010 Kia Optima. The Kia logo is visible in the center of the wheel.

Kia is prepared to make a major move on U.S. market share in 2012. (Photo Credit: CC BY/loubeat/Flickr)

With apologies to supermodel Adriana Lima, the real magic viewers of the Kia Super Bowl commercial got to see was of the automotive variety. The new high-end Kia Optima Limited sedan should prove to be a flagship model for the South Korean automaker, reports indicate.

Kia Optima Limited hangs with Lima, Mötley Crüe

Millions of viewers saw Kia’s Super Bowl commercial featuring the Optima Limited, sandwiched between pyrotechnics, glitter, Adriana Lima and hair band Mötley Crüe. The 2012 Chicago Auto Show was the live coming out party for the completely redesigned Kia sedan, and based upon automotive press feedback, the vehicle is impressive.

[For an impressive vehicle, visit your Atlanta, GA Toyota dealer]

Coming to showrooms in March, the Kia Optima Limited carries all of the features of the SX model, all the way down to the distinctive front and rear lower bumper design. Motor Trend notes that the Optima Limited will only be available in three colors: Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl and Titanium Metallic. Chrome rear spoiler and door sills, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch chrome wheels and red front-brake calipers come standard, ensuring that the Kia Optima Limited will bring a hot look to the road.

Kia turns up the market share heat

The Kia Optima line has helped the Korean automaker make a major move on global automotive sales market share. Through 2011, Optima sales increased 209 percent to 84,590. Such numbers make Kia one of the fastest-growing automakers around, noted Autodata. U.S. market share was 3.8 percent in 2011, up from 3.1 percent the previous year. According to Kia, 2011 marked the 17th year in a row that U.S. market share was on the rise.

“At Kia, we have been living the dream these last few years,” said Kia sales chief Tom Loveless to the Detroit Free Press.

The more we know, the more we want

The new Kia Optima Limited will sport a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct injection engine that puts out 274 hp. Fuel ratings are projected at 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. The power and fuel economy won’t distract from the high-grade interior, which features Nappa leather and wood accents throughout.

Another Kia player at the ball

The Kia Optima Limited isn’t the only new face for the South Korean automaker, notes the Detroit Free Press. At the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, Kia pulled back the curtain on the Kia Track’ster concept, a higher performance take on the Kia Soul that could change the way consumers view the hatchback, noted Kia America’s chief designer, Tom Kearns.

“The Kia Soul was our original rock star,” he said. “The Track’Ster is the heavy metal version.”

Track’ster drivers will have much more power waiting for them under the hood this time around, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 250 horses of power in store. That’s 66 percent more than the original Kia Soul.

Dreaming of the 2012 Kia Optima Limited, with Adriana Lima


Detroit Free Press

Huffington Post

Motor Trend

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