Kia has unveiled the first sketches of the next-generation K5 – also known as the Optima – ahead of the D-segment sedan’s launch in its home market later in December.

As you can see, Kia opted against an evolutionary approach when it came do designing the latest K5, as the new sedan is drastically different from the outgoing fourth-generation model. The front end continues to feature the carmaker’s signature “tiger nose” grille, although it has been significantly widened for the new car.

The “pinched” middle section of the grille meets up two creases on the bonnet that frame the Kia badge, while strong haunches over the headlamps add to the visual presence. If that isn’t enough, the headlamps themselves sport a distinct “extended V” light signature, and blend in neatly with the front grille.

In profile, we see a sportback-like shape with a swooping roofline that circles around a small lip spoiler on the tailgate. The rear three-quarter view also reveals a unique window outline as well as prominent shoulders that lead into the full-width taillights with extended edges.

The revolutionary design approach extends to the interior, with an entirely new dashboard layout that is dominated by two displays – one acting as a digital instrument cluster and the other serving the infotainment and climate systems.

Other revisions include a new steering wheel, piano key-style switchgear on the centre stack and a rotary gear selector, with additional controls (likely for the electronic parking brake and drive modes) placed just in front of the armrest.

A few cues from the outgoing model have transitioned here as well, with the corner air vents being placed higher up compared to those in the centre, and the centre console continues to feature a “partition” on the passenger side to create an asymmetrical seat layout that wraps around the driver.

GALLERY: 2019 Kia Optima GT facelift (Malaysia-spec)