After a turbulent 24 hours, where plenty of information about the new Kia Optima GT was revealed, the powerful D-segment sedan finally makes its official launch debut in Malaysia. This also marks the arrival of the fourth-generation (JF) Optima in Malaysia, replacing the outgoing third-generation (TF) model.

There’s plenty of important figures relating to the Optima GT, but we start with the most important one of all – the price. The on-the-road price, with insurance, is listed at RM179,888, which includes a five year/unlimited mileage warranty. Buyers will get to choose from three different body colours for the Optima GT – Gravity Blue as seen here, Aurora Black and Snow White Pearl.

For that sum of money, you’ll get a Theta II 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 242 hp at 6,000 rpm and 350 Nm from just 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. A six-speed conventional automatic transmission with paddle shifters is paired with the engine, with drive going to the front wheels.

To put that into perspective, the T-GDI mill produces more power than the Toyota Camry 2.5L Hybrid (202 hp total system output), Mazda 6 2.5L (185 hp/250 Nm) and Honda Accord 2.4L (173 hp/225 Nm). Away from Japanese makes, the Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI has just 217 hp and 350 Nm, while the Ford Mondeo’s 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine is rated at 237 hp and 345 Nm.

In terms of performance, the Optima GT will complete the zero to 100 km/h acceleration test in just 7.4 seconds, and hit a top speed of 240 km/h. Meanwhile, its claimed fuel consumption is 8.5 litres per 100 km in the combined cycle. Drivers will also be able to select from three driving modes – Sport, Normal and Eco – via a push of a button on the centre console, which adjusts the throttle response and steering weight. In Sport mode, an Electronic Sound Generator turns up the noise.

Exterior kit fitted to the Optima GT include LED headlights with LED DRLs, LED tail lights, a rear diffuser, twin oval-shaped exhaust tips, “Dot Array Mesh” front signature grille finished in satin chrome, and 18-inch fan-design alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres (235/45).

Moving inside, you’ll find electrically-adjustable front seats, with the driver seat offering 12-way adjustment and a memory function, while the front passenger will “only” have 10-way adjustment. Both seats are also ventilated, with a cooling and heating function to suit the situation. The blue car gets black leather seats while the other two exterior colours are matched with a rather sexy dark red cabin.

Elsewhere, there’s a seven-inch touchscreen display, a dual-zone climate control system with Clean Air ioniser, leather upholstery, D-shaped multifunction steering wheel, rear air-con vents, a wireless smartphone charger, a sunroof, sun shades for the rear side windows, a navigation function for the car’s infotainment system and a 4.3-inch TFT-LCD multi-info display in the instrument cluster.

Safety wise, you’re looking at six airbags (dual front, side, curtain), along with electronic stability control (ESC), vehicle stability control (VSM), hill-start assist control (HAC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and an emergency stop signal (ESS). Front and rear parking sensors, as well as a reverse camera are standard fitments here.

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