The Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan recently went through a redesign cycle, so now it's time for the related Kia Optima to get a refresh.
Kia plans to unveil a concept version of its new Optima at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, with the production version likely to follow shortly after.
The redesigned 2016 Kia Optima is expected to get all of the structural and mechanical upgrades embodied in the Sonata--including upgraded hybrid and new plug-in hybrid powertrains.
That likely means a version of the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid powertrains, which are both built around a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission with assistance from an electric motor.
Teaser for Kia Optima concept debuting at 2015 Geneva Motor Show
Since the Optima and Sonata are closely related, expected figures similar to the estimated 193-horsepower combined output and 42 mpg combined (39 mpg city, 44 mpg highway) of the Sonata Hybrid.
Corresponding figures for the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid are 202 hp and 93 MPGe or 40 mpg combined (38 mpg city, 43 mpg highway) of the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.
The Optima will once again be available in the U.S. as a four-door sedan, although Europe will get a wagon version--and possibly a diesel-electric hybrid based on a concept from last year's Paris Motor Show.
Judging from Kia's teaser image of the concept, styling won't change too much compared to the Sonata. The brand's "tiger grille" appears to still be a prominent feature.
2014 Kia Optima Hybrid
The 2016 Optima Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid will be the latest in a wave of new green cars from both Kia and Hyundai.
The conjoined Korean carmakers hope to capture the number-two slot in green cars by 2020, presumably behind hybrid-monger Toyota.
To do that, they'll reportedly expand their combined green-car lineup to 22 models over the next few years.
In addition to the Optima and Sonata hybrid twins, that expanded lineup is expected to include still more hybrids, electric cars, and at least one more hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle for Hyundai.