2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon – first spy pictures
The new Kia Optima Sportswagon has been spotted testing for the first time ahead of its planned launch late next year.
The new estate, which is heavily based on the Optima saloon, itself due to come to the UK in January, was spotted benchmark testing against estate versions of rivals including the Hyundai i40, Vauxhall Insignia, Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6.
Although this test mule is heavily disguised, the styling of the Optima Sportswagon was closely previewed by the Sportspace concept at this year’s Geneva motor show.
The Sportspace featured ‘ice cube’ quad headlights, distinctive bonnet bulges and the company’s latest ‘tiger nose’ design shutter grille. Kia described the rear as having a ‘latin’ flavour, with the D-pillar pushed forwards compared with other estates.
Power came for the concept came from a derivative of Kia’s T-hybrid 1.7-litre diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, which was first showcased at last year’s Paris motor show. The engine was mated to a sequential automatic shift-by-wire transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
Elements of the concept’s radical interior styling are also expected to carry over to the finished estate.
Speaking to Autocar at the Geneva show, Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s chief designer in Europe, said: “Looking at this car, it’s not the type of show car that looks like it’s not going to make it to a showroom. It looks like a very realistic proposal.”
Engine options for the Sportswagon are likely to be shared directly with the fourth-generation Optima saloon. In the UK, the sole engine on offer will be a 139bhp 1.7-litre CRDi diesel. A high-performance Optima GT version is set to be launched later, as is a plug-in hybrid variant.