To augment its championship-winning Forte Koup racing program, Kia entered into the Pirelli World Challenge with a specially-modified Kia Optima race car, which it showed off at the SEMA Show wearing a new livery for the 2015 racing season.
Kia Racing won the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Grand Touring Sport (GTS) Class Manufacturer Championship in only its third season of competition, defeating rivals Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche, Aston Martin and Nissan to become the first Korean car manufacturer to win the coveted championship.
THE SOURCE CAR: Kia Optima Gets Updated for Updated — Details and Pictures
Impressively, the team wrapped up the season with 13 podium finishes, including 5 race wins, with their turbocharged Optima race cars leading more on-track miles than any other manufacturer in the class .
The No. 38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo displayed at SEMA was actually the car driven by Mark Wilkins throughout the 2014 season. It is powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder GDI engine under the hood of the stock Kia Optima SX and SXL, but tuned to produce around 368 horsepower instead of the standard 274 HP.
All that power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission, allowing the 2,950-pound (1,338 kg) race car to hit a top speed of 160 mph (257 km/h).
Wilkins finished the season third in the Driver Championship, clinching two wins and six podium finishes. Teammate Nic Jönsson finished seventh with three wins and seven podiums.
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Kia Racing competes not only to win, but also to support and increase awareness for two important charitable organizations: B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) and DonorsChoose.org. The former provides free advanced driver’s education to teenage drivers with the goal of preventing injuries and saving lives, while the latter is devoted to helping public school students in need of learning materials.
With the Kia Optima race car, Kia Racing has a winner both on and off the race track. Do you follow the Pirelli World Challenge?
Kia Seltos Is A New Small SUV For The World
It’s a global vehicle, but will it be sold in North America?
Kia Motors used an event in Delhi India to unveil the Kia Seltos, a new compact SUV that will be sold in several markets around the world.
Positioned at the bottom of the company’s expanding crossover and SUV line-up, the new Seltos goes after “youthful, tech-savvy buyers” with a sharp design inside and out, and the tech and practicality millennials expect in vehicle of its size.
The exterior features a tall, upright front end characterized by a wide rendition of Kia’s trademark tiger nose grille flanked by LED headlights and 3D indicators, while horizontal lines on both ends help make the crossover look bigger than it actually is. It looks like a Kia.
Inside, the Seltos can be equipped with a 10.25-inch screen for the infotainment system, a head-up display, and ambient lighting that pulses to the beat of the music. A split-screen function let’s users customize the infotainment screen and view up to three menus at the same time.
Power can be provided by a 1.6-liter turbodiesel rated at 136 horsepower, a naturally-aspirated, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 149 horsepower, or a 177-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo four, while the gearbox options consist of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a six-speed automatic, and a seven-speed dual-clutch.
Manufactured in both India and South Korea, the new, 2020 Kia Seltos goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2019. It’s not clear if it will be sold in the United States and Canada.
TRIVIA: The name Seltos comes from Greek mythology, particularly Hercules’ son Celtos. To make it appear sportier, Kia simply replaced the ‘C’ with an ‘S’.
Hyundai, Kia Invest In Rimac To Build Electric Sports Cars
The Croatian electric car upstart will help the South Korean automakers develop two hot-rodded EVs.
Hyundai and Kia have invested a total of 80 million euros (~ $90 million at the current exchange rate) in Rimac in exchange for its unique expertise.
Rimac will assist Hundai’s N division in developing a production version of the mid-engined, Veloster-like midship sports concept that debuted in 2014. Unfortunately, the agreement made no mention of a precise powertrain or performance levels.
The three companies will also work together on a high-performance fuel cell vehicle that could very well buck the trend of odd-looking FCEV from Toyota (Mirai), Honda (FCX Clarity) and even Hyundai (Nero).
“We want to build high-performance vehicles that are not only fast and powerful but also meet the highest expectations of our customers as the car of their dreams,” said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Division. “Our goal is to popularize electric vehicles and to create social value through world-class technology and innovation in performance.”
We will learn more about both vehicles once development work begins in 2020. In addition to building its own cars, notably the 1,900-horsepower Rimac C_Two electric hypercar (pictured), Rimac is also working with Porsche on a number of projects. Porsche happens to own a 10-percent stake in the company.
New, 2020 Kia Soul EV Has 243 Mile (391 Km) Driving Range
Kia’s quirky crossover joins the high-range electric vehicle group.
The EPA has given the 2020 Kia Soul EV a driving range of up to 243 miles (391 km) on a single charge, placing it in the same class as the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Nissan LEAF e+, all of which get over 200 miles (322 km).
In fact, the Soul EV uses the same 64 kWh battery pack as the Kona Electric and Niro. Power is provided by an electric motor that generates 201-horsepower and 291 lb-ft. of torque and can be modulated with four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+, which automatically adjust power output, regenerative braking, climate control settings, and set speed limits to help manage overall efficiency.
Similar to the Niro and Kona EVs, it will charge at around 100kW for at least the first 50 percent of charge. A DC Fast Charge port comes standard.
The 2020 Kia Soul EV goes on sale in the second half of 2019.