Thanks to a handful of low-res, but telling, nevertheless, pictures taken during a commercial photo shoot, we have a pretty good idea of what the new 2021 Kia Optima (called K5 in Korea) will look like (see images here). We can assure you it won’t look anywhere near as dramatic and conceptually futuristic as these latest teaser sketches from Kia imply.
Granted, they’re good for drumming up some hype around the new Optima, but it’s at best, silly, and at worst, misleading, to suggest these sketches are from the production car. Not that Kia is alone in doing so, as most automakers are guilty of said practice these days. [Updated 11/5/2019]
Kia’s Korean arm has shared official sketches of the all-new K5 midsize sedan which the U.S. will get as the 2021 Optima.
Scheduled to debut in December, the third-generation Kia K5 will adopt a completely new design inside and out as these renderings indicate. According to the automaker, the all-new Kia K5 will evolve from a sedan into a sleek fastback that sports bold design elements “to create an intense and futuristic image.”
Besides the sloping roofline, key exterior styling tweaks also include a new face defined by the aggressive headlights and recessed radiator grille, which form a single continuous element.
Kia calls this a “Tiger Face” and says the element shows the direction of the brand’s next-generation design and will be applied to its future models. The headlights and taillights are “shaped like a heartbeat” and that’s especially obvious at the front as the DRL signature follows the unusual shape of the headlamps.
At the rear, we can see that the LED taillights are connected by an illuminated strip but the light signature consists of many fragmented segments. This sketch also provides a look at the unusual C-pillar which is crossed by a thick molding that extends to the trunk lid “embracing” the rear screen. These may be just sketches, but it’s pretty clear the 2021 Optima will look much less conventional than the current model.
As for the interior, Kia says it follows the concept of “driver-centered future orientation,” offering plenty of space and openness. The dashboard features a fully digital instrument panel next to a widescreen center display oriented towards the driver. The AVN (Audio Video Navigation) system is said to offer futuristic image quality via the three-dimensional main screen.
The third-generation Kia K5 will have its world debut in Korea in December before launching in North America sometime next year as the 2021 Optima.