Design & Technology / Product / Regist Notice

The all-new Optima: Perfected with fully-advanced and dynamic design April 10th, 2015

Just last week, we finally took the wraps off the next generation Optima, a game-changing midsize sedan, at the New York International Auto Show and the Seoul Motor Show. To continue commanding worldwide attention, Kia designers sought to evolve the previous model into an innovative and modern vehicle. The all-new Optima still carries the signature personality of its predecessor, while surprising us with a number of enhancements inside and out. Discover more about the design inspirations and evolution of the all-new Optima through an interview with the Kia Design Team below.


Q: What’s the design concept of the new Optima? 

A: In the early stage of development, Kia designers from South Korea, the US and Europe encapsulated the whole design concept into three keywords: advanced, modern and dynamic. We strived to create a vehicle with details that reached an unprecedented level of transformation and to build upon the overall sporty and active image of the Optima. We are proud to say that the next generation Optima has been fully transformed to exceed everyone’s expectations.


Q: What was the source of your design inspiration?

A: Various objects and experiences are all sources of inspiration, from architecture to fashion trends to cutting-edge aircraft and sci-fi movies. But if we had to single one out, the most influential image for the all-new Optima’s design was a photo of an eagle spreading its wings, energetic and determined to soar. The overall exterior design was refined to embody this concept.


Current Optima (left) and the all-new Optima (right)

Current Optima (top) and the all-new Optima (bottom)

Q: How has the new model evolved from its predecessor? What has changed and how did you reach such level of improvements?

A: Compared to the previous Optima, the all-new Optima’s front bumper is more stylish and wider by de-emphasizing border lines between the radiator grille and front chrome headlamps. The Optima’s signature front bumper styling merges with the grille and headlamps to deliver an even sleeker look. We also focused on creating a fastback silhouette by extending the DLO (day light opening) to the rear.


The all-new Optima ‘Modern Style’ (left) and the ‘Sporty Style’ (right)


Q: There are two types of exterior designs put into production for the all-new Optima. What are the key features of the variants and reasons behind offering two the different types?

A: In addition to the ‘Modern Style’ of the LX and EX trim levels, we introduced the ‘Sporty Style’ available on the SX and SXL trims which feature a more aggressive look to satisfy various customer preferences. The ‘Modern Style’ is equipped with a boldly designed radiator grille and front bumper to project an aggressive, dynamic image. The ‘Sporty Design,’ while sharing the core design identity with the ‘Modern Style,’ reflects active lifestyles, which is highlighted by the side air intakes and muscular detail of the front bumper.


The all-new Optima SXL interior

Q: Were there any specific changes to the interior design?

A: Inspired by haute-couture trends in fashion, the interior design was upgraded to deliver a more  luxurious and clean image by moving the display zone to the top and the control buttons below. With a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console, drivers will get a greater sense of space.


Q: How about the color variations? Will there be any new colors?

A: In order to strengthen the all-new Optima’s modern and futuristic image, paint colors made with advanced aluminum pigment and inspired by outer space have been added. The new color shades include Pluto Brown, Gravity Blue and Moss Grey. Gravity blue, in particular, was inspired by the recent blockbuster movie, “Gravity,” and expresses a dark blue hue with a hint of metallic pigment.


We invite you to find out more about the all-new Optima. Check out the interview below with Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer of Kia, explaining his experience with the new model’s development. Make sure to let us know if you have any questions or comments!