Kia has announced a new model that’s set to make its Australian debut next year, as part of its new “Optimator” lineup.
The first-generation Optimator, which Kia calls “the most expensive Kia vehicle”, will be available in three colours and will start at AU$5,400 ($4,200), and will have a starting price of AU$30,000 ($24,000).
Kia said the “Optimalator” will be able to perform up to 80% of the standard performance of the current Optimator, with an 80 kWh battery and petrol engine.
It’s a significant change for the Kia Optimators, which have been criticised by consumers for being too expensive.
In the past, the brand has been criticised for having a higher price tag than some rivals.
In fact, in 2016, Kia’s Optimazors were one of the highest-selling vehicles in Australia, despite only making up 1.4% of Kia sales.
Kia is now working with automotive experts and engineers to develop the “optimization” technology that will make the new model more affordable, and is promising that the new Optimax will be a “premium” model.
The new Optimalator will also come with a range of accessories that include an air conditioning compressor, Bluetooth headphones, a sunroof and a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, and comes with an upgraded version of the Kiosk.
“Kia Optimalators have been the most affordable vehicles for many years, and they have always been at the top of our customers’ wish list,” said David Chubb, chief executive of Kias Australian subsidiary.
“As we work closely with our industry partners and partners across the country, we will deliver the best value to our loyal customers, including those who want the most powerful, most reliable and most enjoyable car.”
Kia said it would also roll out the “ultimate optimator” model later this year, which it will refer to as the Optimato, which will have “the same performance and the same performance package”.
“The Optimalat has been the best-selling car for over 20 years and we will continue to deliver the Optimalats premium range in 2018,” Mr Chubb said.
“The new product, Optimatos, will be the world’s most powerful and fastest Optimaton.
The Optimalatos premium range will also be the first Kia product with a battery capacity of over 100 kWh and the first to feature KiaConnect.
The Optimati is already available on Australian roads and will be in service by 2021.
Kias Australian operations in Australia include the Kias in Melbourne and Adelaide, Kias South Australia and Kias Western Australia and the Kiesha in Perth.
Kiesha is owned by the Australian car manufacturer BMW, and was the first brand to make an Australian car available in the U.S. in 2005.
Kieshas first-gen Optimats debuted in Japan in 2006.