Kia Optima Plug In Hybrid debuts at Chicago 2016 show

12 Feb, 2016 9:35am Lawrence Allan

Kia's first plug-in electric hybrid model, the Optima PHEV is set to provide a 600-mile range, and will debut in the autumn

Alongside the all-new Niro hybrid, Kia has kicked off its eco-explosion with the unveiling of the Optima in plug-in and standard hybrid forms at the 2016 Chicago Motor Show.

The Kia Optima Hybrid is set to go on sale just after the Niro in September 2016, and is an addition to the recently updated Optima saloon range. The Optima PHEV will be Kia's first ever plug-in hybrid vehicle, and is expected to cost from around £30,000.

The overall look is broadly similar to the regular Optima, save for a unique alloy wheel design, an active aerodynamic grille (that contributes to a super-low drag rating of 0.24 Cd), new badging and, of course, the charging point located just behind the front wheel. Inside, you'll find a tweaked digital instrument cluster too.

The Optima PHEV is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. That alone produces 154bhp, but a 50kw electric motor mounted inside the transmission adds to the output. It also means a 27-mile full electric range, thanks to a 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Kia says the Optima PHEV can be fully charged from a 240v socket in under three hours, and less-than nine hours from a 120v item. The saloon also gets an 'Eco-DAS' driver assistance system that tells the driver when to coast and brake.

Now check out our round-up of the best hybrid cars on sale today...