Five things you need to know about Kia’s Elegant Energy concept car

Kia has released a teaser image of the Elegant Energy concept car. This D-Segment (Mondeo-size) concept will be a challenger to the Volkswagen Passat and aforementioned Ford Mondeo, if it makes it to production.

The image only shows a glimpse of the front end of the car in profile, but we’ve done some digging to find the five most important details about this bold new move for Kia.

1. You’re looking at the next Optima

Though officially a concept, the design is most likely a replacement for the Optima family car. Each previous generation of the Optima has had a five-year life cycle, so given that the current model was released in 2011, it makes it highly likely that an all-new model will be due in early 2016.

2. It was created in Kia’s European design studio

The new concept is the eleventh model to be designed at Kia’s European studio based in Frankfurt. The Korean brand is keen to impart a European influence on their cars, to make sure they possess the style to take on more established rivals. From what we can see, it looks like they’re off to a good start…

3. Striking design details

Though full technical details haven’t yet been released, we can see some features which might reach production. The concept boasts full-LED headlights, and a subtle air vent on the front wing, to lend the concept a sporty appearance. Sadly, the fabulous looking wheels (which also house huge drilled brake discs usually seen on performance models) look too intricate to become a production reality – but we’d love to be wrong.

4. There is likely to be a hybrid version

The current Optima has offered the option of a petrol/electric drivetrain in North America since 2011, and the new model is likely to gain a variation of that system. The 30kW (40hp) electric motor allows the car to drive at up to 62mph on electric power alone, and active aerodynamics in the front bumper help reduce drag and maximise efficiency.

5. It’ll be shown in full at the Geneva motor show

If you’re a fan of the front half of the car, then the first place to catch a glimpse of the rest of it will be at the 85th Geneva Motor Show on 3 March – or right here on carwow. The fact that Kia has chosen to launch such a significant model for them at the largest auto show in Europe shows just where they need the big saloon (or is it an estate?) to succeed.

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