Kia takes the cover off their first hybrid model, the Optima Hybrid

Korean car maker, Kia Motors have unveiled their first ever hybrid model recently at the LA Motor Show 2010. This comes in the form of the 2011 Optima mid-size sedan hybrid model which was introduced by KMA (Kia Motors America) at the show. If you haven’t already know, Kia has been one of the Korean car makers who have been actively and aggressively marketing their products of late. The Forte and the new Optima are just some of the prime examples.

The new hybrid though surely states their intent of establishing their brand name across the US where this one is reportedly being more spacious, with the most contemporary design language and has 40mpg fuel efficiency engine. According to Michael Sprague, the VP of Marketing and Communications of KMA, the company is expanding aggressively into the green car market and the new hybrid Optima seeks to showcase their intention and ability to be a major player in the industry.

This model comes with a full parallel hybrid system where you can opt to drive using electric fully with zero emission and gets you up to 62 miles per hour. It is also smart enough to shut itself off when it runs low on electricity to minimize fuel wastage. Of course, the battery plays an integral part of the fuel efficiency where it is fitted with a lithium polymer battery. This battery is designed by world renowned hybrid battery maker LG Chem and it is supposedly lighter and more compact.

The Optima Hybrid also comes with a TMED (Transmission Mounted Electric Drive) architecture and is among one of the first few to adopt the step-ratio automatic transmission system. apart from that, the HSG (Hybrid Starter Generator) is also included. Coming in as standard (across all Optimas), is the EPAS (Electric Power Assist Steering) where it is also one of the lightest model among its rivals. Buyers who opt for the Premium Technology Package would enjoy a panoramic sunroof, 17 inch allows, heated rear seats, HID lights, a navigation system and an Infinity 2 powered audio system channeled through an 8 speaker surrounding setup. In terms of safety, 6 airbags are included, side impact door beams and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) too are standard. Apart from that, ABS, ESC, Traction Control and Hill Assist too are included.