The 2016 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale in H2 2016, the company has announced. It will not only be the first-ever plug-in hybrid variant of the Kia Optima, but also the first-ever plug-in hybrid Kia to be sold globally.
The 2016 Kia Optima PHEV looks mostly the same as the regular 2016 Kia Optima, save for a few visual modifications – some necessary technically, while some added for aesthetic appeal. Exterior changes include a charging port integrated into the driver-side front fender, new wheel designs, chrome side sill moldings and ‘EcoPlug-In’ badge. Inside, there’s a distinctive instrument cluster which displays details about the PHEV’s functions and powertrain status. There’s a charge indicator on top of the dash that allows the driver to see the charge status even from outside the vehicle.
The 2016 Kia Optima PHEV’s plug-in hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-litre Nu GDI naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine good for 156 PS (154 hp) and 189 Nm of torque, and a 50 kW electric motor. The plug-in hybrid powertrain produces 205 PS (202 hp) at 6,000 rpm. All that power is sent to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The electric motor is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and provides a zero emissions driving range of up to 27 miles (43.45 km). The battery pack can be fully charged in less than three hours at a 240V Level 2 charging station. The company expects the combined fuel economy figure to be rated at 99 MPGe (US). Its engineers are targeting 40 mpg combined in charge-sustaining mode.