Kia Optima spied on the racetrack image

The South Korean automaker is currently busy road and racetrack testing the prototypes of the completely refreshed 2016 Optima. The mid-size sedan is rumored to prepare for an official unveiling sometimes in the second part of 2015, with sales starting later on as a 2016 model year.

Signaling the importance of the model, the Optima has already reached its third generation back in 2010 after first being presented in 2000. The model already received its mid-life update back in 2013, so it’s high time the hot-selling sedan got a complete overhaul to entice the US market.

So, according to rumors and insider information, the 2015 Optima will get minor tweaks, with the major solutions reserved for the fourth generation that will be presented to the public next year. The usual on-road pre-production testing cycle at the Korean manufacturer usually starts around a year and a half in advance of the series mass production, so we’re pretty sure about the 2016 model year scenario.

Also, the Optima should feature a complete overhaul when it comes to design, comfort and powertrains. The design changes should improve all areas, while the interior will be featuring more premium-looking materials. Also, the safety of the model will be enhanced, thanks to the massive use of advanced high-strength steel, coupled with new safety systems. The upgraded engines will ensure better driving dynamics and increased fuel efficiency, while a hybrid variant will get a new drivetrain.