The Kia Optima has garnered one accolade after another in recent years. It's proven to be a reliable, sporty, sharp-looking car that consistently delivers on quality, and safety. But, Kia has another trick up their sleeve for the Optima. How about a turbocharged version for the racetrack?
Sounds good to Paul Cerame Kia, as the automaker has recently snagged their first racing championship at the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Pretty impressive after only two years in the racing circuit, we might add. Furthering their partnership with Kinetic Motor Sports, Kia Racing has recently announced plans to build two turbocharged Kia Optimas for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships. Both cars will compete in the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class alongside some of the top names in racing, on tracks across the United States.
The turbocharged Optima, or the "World Challenge Optima SX," will be the first Korean vehicle to participate in the Pirelli World Challenge Championships. And that's right, there will be two Optimas entering the Challenge. These aren't the first Kia vehicles to get tricked out for races, either. At the 2011 SEMA show, Kia unveiled their B-Spec Kia Rio5, and Kinetic Motorsports continues to work on the Kia Forte Koup for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Even the Kia Optima Hybrid is in on the action, serving as the official safety car of the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC), starting in March of 2012.
Speaking on the expanded race lineup from Kia Motors America (KMA), Michael Sprague, VP of Marketing and Communications says, "Expanding our motorsports footprint with the turbocharged Optima...will continue to build passion and enthusiasm for the brand with an entirely new fan base at different race tracks across the country."1 As for the future of the turbocharged Optima? Sprague says, "With its aerodynamic styling and outstanding driving dynamics, the Optima SX should be well suited to the ultra-competitive environment of World Challenge racing."2
Paul Cerame Kia most definitely agrees. Not everybody can get behind the wheel of a championship winning racer, but taking a spin in any of the new Kia models in our showroom will get you pretty close. Contact us via our website anytime or stop into 11655 New Halls Ferry Florissant, MO 63033 to learn more about what's available now from your favorite Florissant Kia dealership!