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Kia Expands Green Lineup with Updated Optima Hybrid and New Plug-in Hybrid

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Kia is expanding its green car lineup, adding a plug-in Optima Hybrid with a 600-mile range to the mix.

Every single car the Korean automaker debuted at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show was green this year, with an updated Kia Optima Hybrid, an all-new Niro crossover hybrid, and the brand’s first plug-in hybrid making their debuts at the normally quiet show.

The plug-in gets a 2.0-liter four-cyilnder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and a 50 kW motor that is 42 percent more powerful than the motor in the previous Optima Hybrid. The plug-in’s system is augmented by a 9.8 kWh lithium ion battery pack that allows the sedan to get an all-electric range of 27 miles. The batteries are stored under the rear seats so they don’t cut into cargo or cabin space. A full charge with a 240-volt Level 2 charger can be completed in less than three hours, while it takes about nine hours on a Level 1 120-volt charger.

ALSO SEE: Full 2016 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

The regular hybrid is 10 percent more efficient than the outgoing one. It’s powered by the same 2.0L four-cylinder as the PHEV with 154 hp, and a 38 kW electric motor tied to a 1.62 kWh battery pack. Total system output for the hybrid is estimated at 193 hp.

The PHEV Optima will have three driving modes: all-electric (suitable for short city trips), hybrid (highway driving) and charging modes. Both cars will also have a Coasting Guide, which coaches the driver on when to cost or brake to maximize fuel economy. The PHEV and the regular hybrid tie the Tesla Model S for aerodynamics, as both cars have a 0.24 coefficient of drag.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

Of course, the Optimas will offer the latest safety technology: autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, smart cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning systems, and a telematics system are all available. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available, and the PHEV also gets a system that will help you find local charging stations.

The plug-in and hybrid Optima have a lot of similarities as the gas version, but will get unique instrument cluster, some different exterior design cues, and special alloy wheels. The plug-in model will only come in the EX trim level, and will go on sale in the last quarter of this year. Pricing will be announced closer to its launch.

The post Kia Expands Green Lineup with Updated Optima Hybrid and New Plug-in Hybrid appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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