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Kia reveals new 2007 Opirus flagship model


Kia Motors Corporation has issued the first details of its new global flagship model, the luxurious 2007 Opirus (known as ‘Amanti’ in North America). The longer, sleeker, lighter 5-meter long four-door sedan, which is a big seller in the USA, has a more balanced appearance, an enhanced interior with new high-tech features, and a larger, more powerful and more fuel-efficient V6 gasoline engine. Significant improvements have been made to the ride, handling, safety and refinement, while Opirus now weighs less and delivers higher performance. Kia’s new D-segment model will be available in left-hand drive only, in a wider choice of interior and exterior colors.

“Our new 2007 Opirus has been significantly upgraded in so many ways, to deliver the maximum benefits to our customers, that it is virtually an all-new model,” enthused Jung-Moon Park, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors. “Kia’s new luxury sedan is a truly high quality product, offering the highest levels of comfort and silence. It looks more sophisticated, goes faster, consumes less fuel, rides more smoothly, handles better, is packed with features and is a wonderfully comfortable way to travel.

“In its new form, Opirus is a genuine flagship for the high quality we are now achieving across our entire model range. New Opirus will be even more competitive in its market segment and we anticipate a strong growth in demand, thereby doubling of our global sales of this model by 2010 to more than 100,000 units annually,” added Mr. Park.

Longer, sleeker sedan with ‘balanced’ appearance

Kia designers have given the 2007 Opirus a more modern, more balanced look by lowering the leading edge of the bonnet, fitting a wider and smoother radiator grille plus revised dual headlamps, raising the trunk lid and extending the rear overhang by 20 mm, together with new vertical tail lamps (which do not encroach on the trunk lid or rear wing panels), and dual chrome exhaust pipes. Larger diameter, 17-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels plus much wider front and rear tracks fill the wheel arches more completely.

Top quality interior packed with new features

Inside, the 2007 Opirus has an all-new dashboard, instrument panel, dial cluster, center stack, floor console, integrated audio system and heating and ventilation controls. New features include heated and cooled front seats, power-adjustable pedals, four-way lumbar support for the driver’s seat and a clearer trip computer display. For the 2007 model, Opirus buyers will be offered a choice of three interior colors -- two-tone Beige or Gray and one-tone Black, with contrasting accents in wood grain or aluminum.

To strengthen the refined appearance of the 2007 Opirus, five new, more sophisticated colors are added to the original range of three exterior paint finishes. Bright Silver, Light Metal, Pewter Beige, Midnight Gray and Dark Red Wine join White Pearl, Ebony Black and Cobalt Blue will offer buyers a choice of eight colors.

More powerful, more efficient, all-aluminum V6 engine

To make the 2007 Opirus even more competitive in its market sector, Kia has fitted a new 3.8-liter V6 Lamda engine, in place of the previous 3.5-liter liter. This all-aluminum engine generates 266 ps (up 66 ps) at 6,000 rpm and 35.7 kg.m (up 5.4 kg.m) at 4,500 rpm. The new engine powers the 122-kg lighter Opirus to 100 kph in 7.5 seconds (down from 9.2 sec) and propels the car to a top speed of 230 kph.

The five-speed automatic transmission is carried over, offering fully automatic operation or sequential manual gear selection. The new engine is more fuel-efficient and gasoline consumption on the combined cycle is reduced by 4.4% to 10.9 liters per 100 km. The fuel tank holds 70 liters, while the trunk has an increased capacity of 450 liters (SAE mode).

Significant improvements beneath the skin

Kia’s top-of-the-range model has benefited from an extensive re-engineering program under the skin, so the new car’s upgrade is much more than a simple ‘make-over’ -- with significant improvements to the bodyshell structure and suspension systems.

Occupant safety is enhanced by a revised bodyshell which features reinforcements to the lower front bulkhead, cross-members in the cabin floor, the door sills and B-pillars. Added protection against side-impacts is provided by new, larger side air-bags in the front seats which also shield the pelvis area as well as the torso and thorax.

New suspension for crisper handling

The front-wheel drive 2007 Opirus’ improved ride and handling is the result of new front and rear suspension, together with a wider track (up 15 mm in front and 30 mm at rear) and wider 235/55 R17 tires. The sub-frame mounted double wishbone front suspension layout is carried over, but the L-shaped lower arm is reversed, the steering rack is lowered (reducing vibrations) and the castor angle is increased. At the rear, the transverse sub-frame now supports separately mounted shock absorbers and coil springs, while the upper links are now designed to be ‘in-wheel’ -- Kia’s compact system that positions part of the suspension inside the road wheel, for minimum intrusion into trunk space. The new suspension systems weigh 34 kg less than the previous set-up.

Reaching a global market

Already on sale in Kia’s domestic Korean market, where it has been the best selling luxury car for the past two months, the left-hand drive only new 2007 Kia Opirus will reach European Kia dealer showrooms during January 2007, after making its European premiere at the Mondial de L’Automobile in Paris, France, on 28 September 2006.

The Kia Opirus luxury sedan was first introduced in 2002 and has sold more than 144,400 units globally since launch. Its major market is North America where a total of 51,302 vehicles have been delivered as of the end of June 2006.

Kia Motors Corporation ( or -- one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in 9 countries produce more than 1.3 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 160 countries. Kia today has over 32,500 employees and annual revenues of almost $16 billion . It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. From 2007 to 2014, Kia will be an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.