The new generation Kia Optima was unveiled last month in South Korea as the K5. We expect it to launch in the United States and other global markets sometime next year, but it might not be known as the Optima anymore.
Instead, the company has reportedly decided to re-baptize it as the K5, according to TheKoreanCarBlog, who claims to have received the information from company insiders with knowledge on the matter.
Carscoops contacted our sources at Kia, but they would neither confirm nor deny the report. “I can’t comment of future product offerings. But regardless of the badge, Optima remains an important component of Kia’s award-winning lineup of vehicles,” a Kia U.S. spokesperson told us, while another company exec told us that “Kia Motors America is excited to bring the next generation of the Optima to the US, but not able to confirm such a name change for our market.”
For what it’s worth, the Korean automaker has held the rights to the K5 name in the United States ever since 2012. Six years later, it expired, yet they reapplied for the rights to secure the name once again a few months ago. This is all public information that can be accessed on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with the nameplate registered for use “automobiles, sports cars, vans being vehicles, trucks, motor buses, electric vehicles, namely, cars”.
So, what should we expect when Kia finally launches the new Optima/K5 here next year? The same car as the one presented in Korea last month, possibly with some negligent visual tweaks and different engines. Everything else, including the technology features, interior layout, sleek-looking exterior and so on will carry over. The Euro-spec will be virtually identical as well.