New Kia Optima performs wild stunt
The mild-mannered Kia Optima, or K5 as it is now known in its new generation, has been launched in the US market – figuratively and literally.
Performing a “never-before-seen jump between two ramps”, the all-new Kia K5 completed a daring 360-degree spin that looked more like something out of a Fast and Furious movie.
Car stunts are cool, there’s no two ways about it, but most of the time they’re performed with highly modified machines.
Not this time. Very few mods were made to the Toyota Camry rival and the risky stunt was performed to show off the vehicle’s improved power and handling dynamics.
The all-new model was also under study by Kia Australia, despite low sales of the outgoing Optima sedan which had prompted the company to consider abandoning the mid-size passenger car segment.
“We were in Namyang [design centre] and we were all falling in love with it,” said Kia Australia’s head of product planning, Roland Rivero.
“We would have got it if the UK right-hand drive was developed.
“But UK decided D-segment is not something they’re going to invest in.
“What’s being produced out of the Slovakian factory, that’s all the green vehicles, that’s their priority now. Which is the Ceed, XCeed and ProCeed.”
The new Kia Optima/K5 has a bigger and more powerful 2.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine (216kW/420Nm) hooked up to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, delivering a 0-100km/h sprint of 5.9 seconds.
As well as a brash new look and a pumped-up engine, the new sedan is 50mm longer and 25mm wider than its predecessor, measuring 4905mm long and 1860mm wide. It’s also got a sportier look thanks to a 20mm lower roofline and a longer 2850mm wheelbase for more interior room.
The previous-generation Optima had a sleek wagon body style and this is expected to make a return for the brand as well, but as Rivero explained, it remains off the agenda for Australia.
“I’m a huge fan of wagons; you’re preaching to the converted,” he said.
“But the Optima platform in totality is not on the cards for right-hand drive at the moment.
“As much as I would love an Optima wagon, it’s not going to see the light of day in this market unfortunately.”
The latest K5 promotional stunt followed a ‘triple threat’ stunt performed recently that involved “three stunt drivers, two ramps and one shot to get it right”.
Kia described the new “stunt driver-worthy” as a wake-up call to the auto industry that has been “churning out sleepy sedans year after year”.
Not the first time Kia has let the K5 fly