L.A. Auto Show: Kia's Pop concept car looks like it rode in from a cartoon
Kia, the Korean automaker that recently beat out Toyota and Honda in a popularity survey among Gen Y car buyers, unveiled its new 2011 Optima Hybrid and its electric, futuristic-looking Pop concept car on Wednesday at the L.A. Auto Show.
No price was given for the hybrid, which was based on Kia's highly popular Optima model that this year ranked third in customer satisfaction in the NADA Dealer Attitude Survey. The Optima hybrid will be out next year in the U.S., the company said.
But it was the Pod that wowed the crowd on the first day of the car show. Designed as a stylish city vehicle, it featured a butterfly door design and a funky, pod-like interior.
It can travel up to 100 miles in a single charge and get fully recharged in six hours, Kia said.
As for speed, the Pop can supposedly go near 90 mph at the top of its range. The car is good for fuel economy, bad for that fourth friend that's not gonna be able to fit -- the Pop seats a maximum of three.
No word on whether the Pop will ever actually hit Kia showrooms.
The company had much to celebrate this year. Its latest Sorento model was named one of the best new cars for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report. The Sorento, one of Kia's most popular cars, already this year surpassed 100,000 sold in the U.S.
-- Nate Jackson
Photos: Top, Kia presents its Pop electric concept car. Bottom, the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid grabs attention late in the day at the L.A. Auto Show. Credit: Nate Jackson/L.A. Times