Knowing full well that the demographics of Kia Optima K5 buyers are generally the young executives and the young at heart, Naza Kia Malaysia (NKM) are going to respond to the market with a hotter and more dynamic GT variant of the K5. Sources told AutoBuzz.my that it will come as a locally assembled unit and may come as soon as first half of 2017 pending Government approval!
First unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Kia Optima GT gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder T-GDI with 242 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Capable of propelling the Optima GT to 100 km/h from standstill in 7.4 seconds. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Optima GT also gets revised suspension setup and a rack-mounted electric motor-driven power steering system (R-MDPS) that offers quicker response and greater steering feedback for a sportier driving experience. Internationally, the Optima GT wears some extra go fast bits such as dual exhaust tips, more aggressive front bumper and a subtle air diffuser.
Locally, the Optima K5 on sale is assembled at NKM’s plant in Gurun, Kedah therefore the company is able to assemble the Optima GT right here in Malaysia. Expect the Optima GT to come with an arsenal of premium features and hopefully it will be reasonably priced thanks to CKD incentives.
Sources explained that the introduction of the Kia Optima GT is one of NKM’s strategies to strengthen the brand appeal in Malaysia and will also serve as an indicator of the public acceptance towards turbocharged Kia vehicles. Therefore, the decision to introduce more turbocharged vehicles such as the fourth-gen Rio T-GDI and Cerato T-GDI will be highly dependent on the market sentiment towards the Optima GT.