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US pricing for the first-ever hybrid Kia announced

The Stateside subsidiary KIA MOTORS AMERICA has recently issued the pricing list and further details on its first model featuring alternative power: the Kia Optima Hybrid.

Kia will start the sales of the new 2011 Optima Hybrid, the brand’s pioneer in terms of eco-friendliness, for the US customers on June, 5th. According to the officials, the car displays a self-confident, solid exterior design that go pretty well altogether with the spacious cabin featuring superior build quality, the top running efficiency in its class and a very attractive price that starts from 26,500 $.

Kia developed the whole hybrid powertrain for the Optima completely in-house; the lithium polymer batteries come from LG Chem and, with their help, the car scores 35 MPG in city driving and 40 MPG on the highway. The technology implemented by the Korean engineers is basically a full parallel hybrid system, that gives the driver the possibility of driving the car in 100%-electric mode with maximum speeds of up to 62 MPH (100 km/h). Otherwise, the system operates in dual mode (electric motor/internal combustion engine) and features the already-popular start/stop device that shuts down the engine when the car comes to a standstill in order to save fuel, improve consumption levels and lower CO2 emissions.

The new Kia Optima Hybrid is fitted with the latest measures to meet severe safety regulations: a total of eleven airbags, active front headrests, three-point seatbelt for all the seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) are just a few of the passive safety systems that come as standard. ABS, ESC, BAS and Hill Assist Control (HAC) are also included in the standard package. The Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) is another safety gimmick that imitates the sound of an engine when the full electric mode is on to warn the pedestrians the car is approaching.

Aesthetically, the Optima Hybrid boasts a powerful front end grille design, LED daytime running lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. Passengers will be delighted by the luxurious interior, which sports some of the equipments found on the LX A/T versions, such as: eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, dual zone automatic temperature control with rear vents, push-button start with smart key, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, one-touch automatic up/down on front windows, chrome interior door handles, glove box illumination and rear reading lamps. Communication and interactivity will be eased by the new Microsoft UVO hands-free device, the voice control for the infotainment system, the satellite audio system and USB/auxiliary jack compatibility.

Kia offers a comprehensive warranty service for the 2011 model year Optima Hybrid: 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a 5-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the vehicle coverage.