Kia introduced the 2021 K5 / Optima in South Korea last month and now the company has revealed specifications for the redesigned sedan.
The K5 GT has an even more aggressive design to match its powerful engine. Among the changes are sportier bumpers and larger 19-inch alloy wheels.
Kia’s announcement specifically notes two of the powertrains coming to the North American version of the K5/Optima. The 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder carries over from the existing model and still makes 178 horsepower (132 kilowatts) and 195 pound-feet of torque (265 Newton-meters) of torque.
The big addition to the range is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for the performance-oriented GT trim. This powerplant makes 286 hp (213 kW) and 311 pound-feet (422 Nm) of torque. Kia claims acceleration to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.6 seconds. The company also offers this engine with a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission or a traditional eight-speed automatic with a torque converter.
Depending on the market, the K5/Optima is also available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 150 hp (112 kW) and 142 lb-ft (192 Nm), a version of this engine with continuously-variable valve lift that pushes the output to 158 hp (118 kW) and 145 lb-ft (196 Nm), and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 191 hp (143 kW) and 181 lb-ft (246 Nm). These engines would be available with either a six- or eight-speed automatic, but the dual-clutch eight-speed unit appears exclusive to the GT model. There are also hybrid powertrains on the way, but Kia isn’t offering details about them yet.
The sporty styling continues further back as the K5 has a rakish windscreen, a sloping roof and a dynamic greenhouse that produces a “lean-forward stance when viewed from the side.” Out back, there’s a dual exhaust system, a sportier rear bumper and an integrated spoiler. The model also has a rear LED light bar and an assortment of wheels ranging in sizes from 16- to 18-inches.
The 2021 K5 is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor as the model measures 193.1 inches (4,905 mm) long, 73.2 inches (1,860 mm) wide and 56.9 inches (1,445 mm) tall. The wheelbase also grows by 1.8 inches (45 mm) to 112.2 inches (2,850 mm).
In the cabin, drivers will find an all-new cockpit with higher quality materials and modern technology. In higher end variants, drivers will sit behind a flat-bottomed steering wheel and find themselves looking at a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. To their right is a widescreen infotainment system which measures up to 10.25 inches.
Other highlights include an 8.0-inch head-up display, a 12-speaker Bose audio system and a Mood Lighting system that emits ambient light from the door panels and dashboard. The K5 also has a wood trim, metallic accents and voice recognition technology.
Speaking of tech, the K5 offers a host of driver assistance systems. They include forward collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist and blind-spot view monitor with surround view. The model also has smart cruise control, driver attention warning and highway driving assist. Rounding out the highlights are rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist and a rear view monitor with reverse parking collision-avoidance assist.
Front-wheel drive comes standard on the updated Optima. Kia has yet to tell us what powertrains get the all-wheel-drive layout and in which countries. The Hyundai Sonata does not currently offer AWD, so this can be expected to make the Kia more desirable.
Pricing isn’t available yet for the new Optima. But Kia did say it will go on sale in the first half of 2020.