Kia gears up for fuel economy record attempt
Posted on September 1st, 2011 by Patrick Sands
(WEST POINT, GA.) August 26, 2011 — Two motorists are preparing to drive a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records this week as they aim to set a new record for lowest fuel consumption (in a gasoline hybrid car) while driving through all 48 adjoining states of America.
Taking on the epic 8,000 mile fuel economy driving challenge will be experienced fuel economy driver Wayne Gerdes and his colleague and friend Chris Bernius, who will be completing the journey in a factory-standard Kia Optima Hybrid four-door sedan.
The record attempt will see the drivers depart from Kia Motors’ manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, on August 26, travelling through the 48 adjoining states in a clockwise direction, before finishing in South Carolina just 16 days later, on September 10.
“KMMG is happy to kick off this world record attempt here in West Point where we will be launching our own 2012 Kia Optima next month,” said Randy Jackson, KMMG’s vice president of human resources and administration. “Quality has to be at the forefront in order to achieve such an ambitious goal. We put a major emphasis on quality here at KMMG, and a drive like this around the entire U.S. will be the ultimate test for quality.”
Kia fans wishing to track the drivers’ progress will be able to receive live updates via Kia’s Twitter feed (@Kia_Motors) and a specially-developed Facebook app on Kia’s Worldwide page: https://www.facebook.com/Kiamotorsworldwide. Photos, video footage and a written blog will be uploaded to the page on a daily basis from August 26. The Facebook app will also enable visitors to explore the drivers’ route in detail, find out further information on the Kia Optima Hybrid and will also offer some best practice tips for motorists to achieve better fuel economy in their own vehicles.
Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said, “Fuel economy is becoming increasingly important to car buyers all around the world, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is one of our latest models to address this consumer requirement.
“Driving through all 48 adjoining US states is the ultimate ‘real-world’ challenge, but the Kia Optima Hybrid gives the drivers the very best chance of setting a new Guinness World Record, as it has been specifically designed to achieve maximum fuel economy in all driving conditions, not just in the city,” Oh continued.
The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first hybrid vehicle in the U.S. market and went on sale in East- and West-coast regions in June 2011, priced from US$26,500, with national availability by the end of 2011. A European version – which mates the electric motor to a smaller, 2.0-liter gasoline engine – is expected to go on sale in some markets in 2012.
The 2.4-litre Optima Hybrid employs a unique and innovative parallel gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain developed by Kia that delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, a top speed of 195 kph (121 mph), plus highly-competitive fuel economy equivalent to a 40.7 percent fuel consumption improvement over the standard Optima EX model in the USA.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) — a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart — was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Over 2.1 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 44,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$20 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA — the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan — “The Power to Surprise” — represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.
About Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and began mass production of the 2011 Kia Sorento on Nov. 16, 2009. At full capacity, the plant will have the ability to build 360,000 vehicles annually from U.S. and globally-sourced parts.