The much-anticipated Kia Optima K5 has been launched – the D-segment offering was introduced earlier today at Naza Kia Malaysia’s new flagship Kia Red Cube outlet in Petaling Jaya. The car arrives in a single engine variant form, this being a 2.0 litre Theta II MPI mill offering 165 PS at 6,200 rpm and 198 Nm at 4,600 rpm, with a six-speed automatic transmission in attendance.

It’s pretty spot on the dot as to what we speculated earlier in our leaked brochure story, as far as specifications and features go. Pretty much the entire list of items that was bandied are on, and it’s a comprehensively-filled bag.

For starters, there are auto-leveling HID xenon headlamps and LED-daytime running lights, front fog lamps, LED rear combination lamps, machine-finished 18-inch, 10-spoke flush-faced alloy wheels, rear lip spoiler and gull-wing folding side mirrors. The car comes with a single tailpipe, as opposed to the twin units in the 2.4 GDI version we drove earlier in the year in Australia.

Inside, the K5 features a leather interior, a supervision cluster and a multifunction four-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters and controls for audio, ECO-driving, auto cruise-control. There’s also a six-CD changer audio system with an eight-speaker (not seven, as speculated) Infinity speaker system, replete with Aux, iPod and USB connectivity.

Other items include dual-zone auto air-conditioning, full-width three-piece panoramic glass sunroof, push-button start/stop, illuminated door scuff plates and USB connectivity, as well as a tailgate-mounted reversing safety camera with interior mirror LCD display monitor.

The driver gets an 8-way electronically-controlled seat with an integrated memory seat function, which retains settings for two drivers based on their seating position. In terms of safety, the car comes equipped with six airbags (dual front, front side and full length-curtain) and an electronic stability programme incorporating ABS, EBD, TCS, brake assist and hill-start assist control.

There are also large brake discs for improved braking performance, front active headrests, child seat fixtures at the rear and speed-sensing auto door locks.

It also wears HPD (high performance dampers) as part of its suspension setup, though the units in the local K5 aren’t the Sachs dampers with the Australian-defined tune, but rather a slightly softer tune to accommodate our diverse road surface conditions; we’re told that it offers enhanced handling without sacrificing ride comfort.

Three external shades are available, these being Snow White Pearl, Bright Silver and Platinum Graphite, and the Optima K5 goes for RM143,888, on-the-road.

Elsewhere, a bit on the Kia Red Cube, which is the second such Kia outlet in the ASEAN region. The 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centre features the company’s new modern space identity, and will serve as NKM’s flagship ‘store’ in the country. Another Kia Red Cube is due in 2012, either in the northern or southern region.