Holy hi-jinks Batman!: Kia builds Batman-themed Optima for charity

Kia Optima Batman front three-quarter viewKia is probably the last company comic book fans would expect to build a Batmobile, but that’s exactly what it has done, sort of. Kia and DC Entertainment will unveil a Batman-themed Optima SX Limited in New York this week, as part of a charity collaboration between the Korean carmaker and the legendary comics publisher.

The Bat-Kia is the first of several superhero-themed cars that will roll out over the next 10 months to raise awareness for DC’s “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, which raises money to fight hunger in the Horn of Africa.

With its bat-shaped grille and Bat Symbol graphics, it’s hard to miss whose car this is. This Optima actually looks a little like some of the original Batmobiles from the 1930s and 1940s, which were essentially regular cars with bat hood ornaments or winged fenders.

The Optima is also lowered, and features 20-inch wheels and a body kit that should give Batman plenty of street cred (not that he needs any more). It should also make maneuvering through Gotham City’s wrecked streets a tad difficult.

Inside, the seats are covered in black leather with yellow stitching and, of course, the ever-present Bat Symbol. Throwing stars are mounted in the center console for easy access, and the Batsuit, complete with cape and cowl, is stored in the trunk.Kia Optima Batman front view

Kia chose the top-spec Optima SX Limited to turn into a Batmobile. That means it has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four with 274 horsepower, coupled to a six-speed automtaic transmission. That may be a lot of power for a midsize sedan, but Kia may need to add a jet turbine to really impress the Dark Knight.

When it goes on display at New York’s Time Warner Center, the Batman Optima shouldn’t have a problem attracting attention to DC’s charity efforts. A video on the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign will play through monitors mounted in the car’s headrests.

As part of a global media conglomerate, DC isn’t new to cross promotions. For the release of Dark Knight Rises, the comics company teamed up with Chrysler to customize a 300 for the streets of Gotham City. However this time, the goal is charity, which is definitely more worthy of the Caped Crusader. It looks like the Batcave will need more parking spaces.

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