PHEV: Kia's first plug-in hybridYou might have heard about Kia's mission to lower the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25% before the end of the decade.
This has been given a huge boost today with the launch of the company's first plug-in hybrid model, the Optima PHEV. And, as the Government offer a staggering £2,500 plug-in car grant, you can pick up this new model from £31,495.
With a range of up to 33 miles in all-electric mode, the Optima PHEV is able to complete many regular urban commuter runs with no tailpipe emissions, while its CO2 figure of just 37g/km means company car users pay just 7% benefit-in-kind taxation in 2016-17.
With all these savings, you'd think this model would come up short elsewhere. The Optima PHEV is available with a comprehensive suite of connectivity features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay*. At the heart of it is the latest Kia audio-visual navigation (AVN) system, operated via an 8 inch touch-screen and featuring Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is linked to a rear parking camera.
Exclusive in the Optima PHEV is a series of menus which show the car's EV range at any time, nearby charging stations, energy usage based on driving style as well as other information to help the driver use the electrical energy stored in the batteries in the most efficient way.
The Optima PHEV combines a 154bhp 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine with a 50kW (67bhp) electric motor powered by a 9.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The electric motor replaces the torque converter in the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. When working together, the combustion engine and motor generate 202bhp and 375Nm of torque.
A package of aerodynamic, styling and technology features contributes towards the Optima PHEV's low CO2 emissions and potential fuel economy of up to 176.6mpg while ensuring it is instantly recognisable as the high-efficiency model in the Optima range. The most significant aerodynamic change is an active air flap grille which lowers the car's drag co-efficient (Cd) to 0.25 when closed. The neat integration of the batteries behind the rear seat and in the spare wheel well, along with a 15-litre reduction in the car's petrol tank, means the Optima PHEV is still able to offer a generous 307 litres of luggage space.
*Available later in the production run
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