First Look: 2012 Kia Optima Limited

Kia recently used its Super Bowl spot to showcase its new 2012 Kia Optima Limited, and now the new top-of-the-line Optima has become a reality at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, where the automaker also revealed production plans for the new model.

The new range-topping 2012 Optima Limited, which will arrive in showrooms in March, slots in above the SX trim and features everything the SX does and more. For starters, the Optima Limited wears a unique front and rear lower bumper design, and is only available in three exclusive colors: Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl, and Titanium Metallic. A chrome-accented rear spoiler, lower door sills, LED daytime running lights, and unique 18-inch chrome wheels add extra shine to the Optima Limited, while red-painted front-brake calipers complete the hotted-up look.

Inside, black or white Nappa leather embellish the seats, door panels, and center console, while wood accents also decorate the steering wheel, interior door trim, and shift knob. The headliner, sun visors, and A-, B-, and C-pillars are also blacked-out, and Kia even throws in a first-aid kit. Paddle shifters, metal pedals, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, panoramic sunroof, navigation, rear back-up camera, SiriusXM Traffic, and an eight-speaker Infinity audio system are optional on the SX, but are standard on the Limited trim level. Illuminated door scuff plates and HID headlights are also included as standard equipment.

No changes occur underneath the Optima Limited's hood. The same 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that produces 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque in the SX will power the Optima Limited, and it also comes with the SX's sport-tuned suspension. Fuel economy will also remain the same, at 22/34 mpg city/highway.

Production of the new Optima limited will start at the end of this month at the automaker's West Point, Georgia plant.

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