It was at the New York Auto Show back in 2010 that Kia broke off the shackles of lame, design by committee styling when it unveiled its striking, third-generation Optima sedan. The vehicle quickly became the brand’s bestseller here, a title it’s held for the past three years, and now, five years later, Kia is returning to the New York Auto Show with an all-new Optima.

We were given an early look at the new Optima at the recent Geneva Motor Show in the form of the Sportspace concept, a station wagon that not only previewed the car’s styling but hinted at a more practical long-roof variant too. Now we have two teaser sketches that depict the actual production Optima due in showrooms later this year, as a 2016 model.

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The sketches reveal the latest take on Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille as well as a sporty bumper design, more streamlined fender vents and a very thin C-pillar that creates an almost floating roof-like design. Overall the look is very impressive and should lead to even more sales for the Korean brand.

Teaser for 2016 Kia Optima debuting at 2015 New York Auto Show

Teaser for 2016 Kia Optima debuting at 2015 New York Auto Show

None of the specs have been released but we already know the car will once again be closely linked with the Sonata from sister brand Hyundai, meaning we’re likely to see the new Optima pick up most of the upgrades offered on the latest version of the Sonata—including hybrid and new plug-in hybrid powertrains based around a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Regular models will still be on offer and should stick with the current Optima’s naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter engine as well as its turbocharged 2.0-liter mill. A six-speed automatic transmission is expected across the range. Kia is also thought to be working on a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain for the new Optima but this is expected to be sold in Europe only.

The New York Auto Show gets underway April 1. To see what else will be at the show, head over to our dedicated hub.


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