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 |  Mar 24 2010, 9:44 AM

2011-kia-optima-interior1.jpg

Kia has just released a sketch showing the interior of the upcoming 2011 Optima [Magentis] mid-size sedan, ahead of its debut at the New York Auto Show next week. The sketch shows an overall sporty design with well-bolstered seats and a driver-oriented cockpit. Highlights include a three-spoke steering wheel, stitched leather seats and navigation system with a sizable screen.

As for the rest of the car, Kia has already said it is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, which should result in a more comfortable ride, better handling and more interior room. Based on the same platform as the newly released Hyundai Sonata, the Optima doesn’t have quite the coupe-like look, with a rather high Lexus IS-like rear end. It features Kia’s “tiger” front end design with a flat nose and large grille, while LED lights are used on the bumper.

While no powertrain info has been provided, it’s safe to assume that much like the Sonata (reviewed here), it will receive a GDI (gasoline direct injection) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 198-hp and a six-speed transmission. In the Sonata that engine gets 22/35 mpg (city/highway). With Hyundai set to unveil a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged Sonata and a Hybrid at the NY show, it’s likely that Kia will do the same either in NY or soon after.

Kia claims the new Optima will have class-leading safety and luxury equipment.

AutoGuide will be on hand in New York for the official debut, with live coverage starting March 31st.

GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima

Next generation Kia Optima (front)(2).jpgNext generation Kia Optima (front).jpgNext generation Kia Optima (side)(2).jpgNext generation Kia Optima (side).jpg

[Source: Kia-World.net]