There was a buzz of activity at the Kia stand at the paultan.org Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE) 2018, as local distributor Naza Kia brought two of the South Korean carmaker’s flagship vehicles to the event. The star of the show was the Stinger, but the new facelifted Optima GT also made an appearance at the event.

Kia may not be the first thing you think of when you talk about premium brands, but the Stinger shows the company has made great strides in the area. Like most of the sedans it competes with from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it’s rear-wheel drive, and the chassis has been developed under the stewardship of ex-BMW M chief engineer Albert Biermann.

It also comes with a choice of two competitive engines, including a 255 PS/353 Nm 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder engine in the GT-Line and a 370 PS/510 Nm 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 in the range-topping GT – the latter takes just 4.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h. Impressively, all models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, adaptive suspension and even a limited-slip differential, with the GT also getting Brembo brakes.

Standard equipment is likewise vast and includes keyless entry, push-button start, a panoramic sliding sunroof, a power tailgate, power-adjustable front seats with heating, ventilation and driver’s side memory, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Qi wireless smartphone charging and a 360-degree camera system.

The facelifted Optima GT was launched last week, but PACE marks the car’s public debut. Priced at RM169,888 on-the-road without insurance, the powerful D-segment sedan gets a new look but retains the rip-roaring engine – the same 2.0 litre turbo as the Stinger, here making 245 PS and paired to a six-speed auto. This is comfortably the fastest D-segment sedan offered here, hitting 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds.

As far as equipment is concerned, the Optima GT comes with LED head- and tail lights, 18-inch alloy wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, paddle shifters, rear sunshades, a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen (again with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), Qi wireless charging and a 360-degree camera.

The paultan.org PACE 2018 event continues today at the Setia City Convention Centre until 7:00 pm.

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