The next stage of Kia's transformation from design also-ran to serious contender will kick off at the New York Auto Show in few weeks. After launching the Forte sedan and Koup, the new Sorento and, most recently, the Sportage, Kia's new design language is being applied to the Optima. The all-new 2011 Kia Optima is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces although we don't know by how much. While it's not as aggressive as the sketches released a few weeks ago, this Optima is certainly a huge step forward.
We don't have any mechanical details yet, but we'd guess that the Optima shares a lot under the skin with the new Hyundai Sonata. Nor would we be at all surprised to learn that the Optima won't have a V6 engine option this time around. Instead, it'll probably use the same direct-injected 2.4-liter inline-four found in the Sonata. The turbocharged and hybrid variants may follow as well.