Official teaser sketches of the new 2016 Kia Optima have been released ahead of the car’s world premiere at the 2015 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) on April 1. The upcoming Korean D-segment challenger was previewed by the Sportspace concept in Geneva, and it appears the production version will stay remarkably faithful to the original vision.

From the looks of things, the design of the new fourth-gen Optima will be an evolution of the current TF‘s striking aesthetic, which still looks fresh after five years in production. The new headlights and grille are slimmer and sharper than before, and the lower front bumper gets a more aggressive set of air intakes.

Moving down the side, the bodyside appears more sculpted and the fender vents better integrated into the design, and while the glasshouse retains the distinctive side window and rear windscreen treatment, it looks to have been stretched further back to create a more coupé-like roofline. Finishing off the look are sharper tail lights and a more aggressive rear diffuser design, along with large alloy wheels in a turbine design.


No indication as to what the design of the interior will look like – the sporty, pared back cabin was one of the Sportspace’s more fanciful aspects, and we wonder if the production Optima will be able to replicate that to any degree. Speaking of the Sportspace, the wagon body style it portrayed should make it into production, as it would enable Kia to gain a foothold in estate-favouring Europe, much like the i40 Tourer did for Hyundai.

Under the bonnet, the Optima should mark the production debut of the T-Hybrid powertrain – previewed on the Optima T-Hybrid concept and the Sportspace – that mates a 1.7 litre CRDi turbodiesel engine with a small electric motor and a 48 V lead-carbon battery. Revised versions of the current 2.0 and 2.4 litre mills, with or without turbocharging or direct injection, are also expected to be featured.

Kia Sportspace concept

2016 Kia Optima spyshots