This week’s hot Las Vegas SEMA event will also include a breezer – the South Koreans from Kia have prepared a one-off to celebrate the release of their brand new 2016 Optima.
Kia comes packed to SEMA, with the Forte Koup Mud Bugger and PacWest Adventure Sorento in tow to complement the open-top conversion for the latest generation of the Optima midranger. Naturally no plans have been devised to actually have the Optima cabrio ready for series production (unlike the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque convertible) but the showcar could hit the streets if the company wanted to because after taking away the roof the engineers kept intact the model’s structural rigidity by introducing reinforced steel tubes “discretely” inside the body. Treated to a beautiful blue hue, the Optima Convertible has a Florida vibe and comes with a reduced area for the windshield, suicide doors and a set of chrome-wrapped 20-inch alloy rims that hide the Ksport coilover suspension that has lowered substantially the vehicle’s ride. Those gazing inside the cabin will see soft buttercream leather upholstery for the front bucket seats – while the back passengers got a custom center console and extended armrests to complement their own bucket seats.
The massive changes to the design and purpose of the model have not affected the four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine churning out 245 bhp (183 kW) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque, though a bespoke high performance exhaust system will most likely deliver a few extra ponies and more importantly a resounding grunt.