Kia shows its European side with the first-ever Optima Sportswagon

Europe is the last bastion of the station wagon. Crossovers are more popular over there than they’ve ever been, but there’s a small yet loyal group of motorists who continue to buck the soft-roader trend and buy wagons. To cater to these consumers, Kia’s European division will introduce the first-ever Optima station wagon at the Geneva Auto Show.

The Sportswagon borrows more than a handful of styling cues from the Sportspace concept that was presented during last year’s Geneva show. It looks just like the Optima sedan from the tip of the front bumper to the B-pillar, but beyond that it features a longer roof line underlined by an elegant strip of chrome trim, a rakish D-pillar, and sharp horizontal tail lamps. The wagon is only a few sixteenths of an inch taller than the sedan.

With five occupants on board, the Optima Sportswagon offers about 20 cubic feet of trunk space, 1.6 cubes more than the four-door model. Loading bulky items is a breeze thanks to a low loading floor, a 40/20/40-split rear bench, and an available power tailgate.

Like the Euro-spec Optima, the Sportswagon will launch with a 1.7-liter turbodiesel engine tuned to generate 141 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 251 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. Called CRDi in Kia-speak, the oil-burner comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a seven-speed dual clutch is offered at an extra cost. Don’t like diesels? Kia has you covered with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter gasoline-powered mill that makes 163 horsepower, and a range-topping turbo four that pumps out a healthy 245 ponies and 260 pound-feet of twist.

The Kia Optima Sportswagon will be built in South Korea, and it’s scheduled to land in showrooms across the Old Continent before the end of the year. Pricing information hasn’t been published yet, but it’s of little interest to us because the family-friendly Optima most likely won’t be sold on our side of the pond, where the wagon segment barely has a pulse.

Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Product Review

With the roomy and speedy 2019 Continental, you can take Lincoln seriously again

With the 2019 Continental, Lincoln is on a mission to rekindle ties with its glamorous past. The firm's flagship sedan is short on tech, but it's comfortable, spacious, and smooth -- just like a Lincoln should be.
Product Review

The new Ram 1500 blends capability and convenience better than the rest

The Ram isn’t the most powerful, spacious, or affordable of the light-duty, full-size pickup herd, but a modestly equipped version walks all over rivals in terms of ride quality, technology, and cabin comfort.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.
Cars

Tesla given go-ahead to start deliveries of Model 3 to Europe

Tesla has been given the green light to start deliveries of its Model 3 electric sedan to Europe, giving it the chance to compete more effectively with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz in the region's premium car market.
Cars

Royal fans bid big money as Prince Philip ‘car crash parts’ hit eBay

A couple of days after a car crash that involved the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, debris apparently from the scene of the accident showed up on eBay. And people wanted to buy it.