Last summer Kia introduced the company's first hybrid vehicle. The vehicle, released in South Korea, was the Forte LPG Hybrid sedan. The combination of an electric drivetrain and LPG fuel makes the vehicles unique, but not suitable for the U.S. market. Kia has responded and will offer a hybrid vehicle here starting next year. The hybrid bound for the states will be based on the new Optima sedan which will debut here at the New York Auto Show.
The conventional Optima will go on sale here later this fall and reports state that the hybrid version will go on sale early next year. The info about a hybrid Optima comes directly from egmCarTech who refers to their source as Kia spokesman Michael Choo. Kia did not respond to formal requests about the Optima hybrid model, they neither confirmed nor denied the models release.
Kia has displayed several hybrid vehicles at recent auto shows including an interesting plug-in concept called the Kia Ray which debuted at the Chicagao Auto Show. The company is also working on an EREV vehicle as well as a fully electric vehicle. Kia appears to be testing the waters in all advanced technology categories.
Look for more information about the Optima hybrid soon. The newly redesigned Optima will make its debut in April.