Kia has released more details about the fifth-generation Kia Optima (or K5 as it is known in Korea), which is set to go on sale in several markets during the first half of 2020. Featuring a striking new design, the D-segment sedan also sees several new technologies and powertrain options, some of which are firsts for the model.

The latest Optima is meant to showcase the Korean carmaker’s next-generation design direction, and is designed in collaboration between all three of Kia’s design studios in North America, Europe and Korea. Taking the shape of a fastback sedan, the sleek look is a radical departure from the fourth-generation car and is deemed as “Kia’s sportiest designs to-date.”

At the front, we find the latest evolution of the company’s signature “tiger nose” grille, which is now wider, and integrates the headlamps that feature “heartbeat” LED daytime running lights. Prominent creases on the bonnet add to the sportiness, with a subtle overhang on its leading edge meeting neatly with said grille. The lower portion of the front bumper is also more expressive here, with angular air curtains and a wider intake.

Along the sides, the body narrows slightly at the midpoint between the wheel arches – a cue inspired by the “Coke bottle” shape of the Stinger’s body. There’s also a shoulder line that gradually rises, while the chrome trim on the upper windowline wraps around the base of rear window for more visual flair.

Focusing on the rear, there’s a new LED daytime running light accompanying the sharper taillights, which spans the width of the rear deck, with the dashes of light extending into the same “heartbeat” shape seen at the front. Other cues include a ducktail spoiler that is paired with a sportier lower bumper design and dual chrome exhausts.

The new design also sees some changes to the Optima’s dimensions, as it is now 4,905 mm long (+50 mm), 1,860 mm wide (+25 mm), 1,445 mm tall (-20 mm), with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm (+45 mm). Available alloy wheel designs range from 16 to 18 inches, with GT models receiving a unique 19-inch set, along with more aggressive bumpers, dedicated badging and dual twin exhaust tips.

While the exterior changes of the new Optima are revolutionary, the interior takes an evolutionary approach instead. The new layout now sees wood-effect (or metallic) trim dividing the upper dash from the centre stack, and this extends to the door cards to create a wraparound look. As a result, the air vents have been resized to be smaller, with the ones in middle being pushed downwards as well.

Also new is the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system beside the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display, which does without extra controls on the centre stack – these have been moved to the centre console. On that mention, there’s also a shift-by-wire rotary dial selector as an alternative to a conventional gear lever, depending on the chosen transmission.

Other items that are available include an ambient light system, an eight-inch head-up display, digital key, a 12-speaker Bose sound system and a range of cabin colour schemes, upholstery options and trim finishes, depending on the market the car is sold in.

In terms of engines, the Optima is offered with a Smartstream 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 180 PS at 5,500 rpm and 265 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. There’s also a 2.0 litre MPI unit (152 PS and 192 Nm), 2.0 litre with CVVL (160 PS and 196 Nm) and a 2.5 litre GDi engine (194 PS and 246 Nm).

The K5 GT gets the most powerful engine in the range, a 2.5 litre T-GDi that outputs 290 PS and 422 Nm, allowing for a century sprint time of 6.6 seconds. The previous hybrid powertrain options will also be available in selected markets.

All engines are paired with six- or eight-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.5 litre T-GDi is available with a new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. For the first time, the Optima will also have the option of an all-wheel drive system as an alternative to the standard front-wheel drive.

Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are also available, and includes Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, Blind-spot View Monitor with Surround View Monitor and Blind-spot Collision-avoid Assist, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) or Navigation-based SCC (NSCC), Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention Warning, and Highway Driving Assist.

That’s not all, as there’s a Rear View Monitor with Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA), Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist , and Remote Smart Parking Assist, which enables drivers to move their car autonomously out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob. All Optima models come with nine airbags and the usual gamut of passive safety systems – Vehicle Stability Management and Electronic Stability Control.