2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part IX Page 3

January 10, 2006

The B-pillar-less and rear-hinged back doors (called “freestyle doors” here) allow more cargo and passenger ease, and the rear liftgate is claimed to have the flexibility of a backpack, with a fold-out pouch area for a wetsuit or muddy boots.


A notebook computer and game monitor are housed in the glove compartment and can swing out on a tray. Separate video monitors fold out for rear-seat passengers, and there’s a multimedia system that includes Bluetooth telephony, USB ports, and wi-fi. There’s also an adaptive cruise control system.


The Soul concept is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with five-speed manual transmission, and we were told that if such a vehicle were to be produced that it would use a platform readily adapted from one of Kia’s existing small cars. Although the car shown was unfinished and strictly a concept, Kia officials said that there’s a lot of interest in seeing this one through, hinting that a production vehicle may in the works.



New Optima Revealed


2006 Kia Optima

2006 Kia Optima

Enlarge Photo
Kia also used its Detroitpress conference to introduce the new 2006.5 Kia Optima sedan. The new Optima rides on a new platform shared with the new Hyundai Sonata, with a longer wheelbase and wider track than the car it replaces, with more interior space, more power, and better fuel economy.


The Optima now has more interior than most of its mid-size competitors, including the Accord, Camry, Altima, Malibu , and Fusion, Kia says. Trunk space has increased by ten percent over the previous Optima.


Power is provided by a new 161-hp, 2.4-liter four, with a 185-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 optional. A five-speed manual is standard with the four-cylinder model, with a five-speed automatic optional on the four and standard on the V-6. Front and rear anti-roll bars are standard for improved handling.


Six airbags—including full-length curtain bags—are standard on the Optima, as are active front headrests and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Anti-lock brakes will be optional, as is stability control and Brake Assist.


An available Appearance Package option includes larger wheels, aluminum trim inside, and other appearance upgrades, and combined with the EX model the package includes sporty black trim accents and leather seats.


The Optima will begin arriving at showrooms later this spring. —Bengt Halvorson



2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part I by TCC Team (1/8/2006)
Car and Truck of the year, Lexus LS has eight speeds, Enclave concept..2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part II by TCC Team (1/8/2006)
Shelby GT500, Ford Reflex, predictions for 2006 and Lutz on GM financials.

2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part III by TCC Team (1/8/2006)
Hyundai HCD-9 Talus, Santa Fe, and the death of the five-day car.2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part IV (1/8/2006)
Nissan's next steps, Benz GL-Class, GM hybrids.

2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part V by Bengt Halvorson (1/8/2006)
Honda Fit, Ford Edge, and more from Bill Ford.2006 Detroit Show, Part VI by TCC Team (1/9/2006)
The new face of Lincoln, Mazda Kabura, Infiniti G35 and MINI Clubman.

2006 Detroit Show, Part VII by TCC Team (1/9/2006)
GM planning big price cuts, Aston Rapide, Volvo C30, XK pricing.

2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part VIII by Bengt Halvorson (1/9/2006)
Jeep Compass, Toyota Camry, Nissan Sentra and Urge.

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