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Kia Optima transforms into K5 in 2021 model

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Kia has redesigned the Optima and renamed it K5 for 2021, making it consistent with the sedan’s global nameplate.

The Korean automaker has thus given the 2021 model a new look and a new family-sedan identity.

The latest edition is longer, lower and wider than the sedan it replaces and Kia says it will be available with all-wheel drive.

Powered by a 180-hp 1.6-litre turbo-4 or a coming 290-hp turbo-4, it has an alert, engaged companion for family drivers charmed as well by its strong warranty coverage and value, according to the Car Connection.

Built with a sharper style than Kia’s outgoing Optima, the K5 has deeply sculpted sides, a hawk-like nose bracketed by LED lighting, and a long band of metallic trim that soars along a roofline that is dropped the visual party trick of blacked-out trim that gave the Optima a “floating” roof.

Inside the K5’s more ritzy versions, open-pore wood and synthetic leather upholstery pull off the business-class look of the Telluride and Stinger, while GT-Line models and those below have more hard plain trim.

Longer in wheelbase, the K5 has more front-seat space to go with swell front-seat buckets.

Four adults fit easily, with room for a slim fifth and 16 cubic feet of cargo in the trunk.

Kia says every 2021 K5 has automatic emergency braking, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and five years or 60,000 miles of warranty coverage.

Options range from adaptive cruise control to Bose premium audio, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, woodgrain trim, synthetic leather upholstery—and cooled front seats.

Others are reverse parking sensors, a 10.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, power front passenger seat and heated steering wheel.

The new car’s dramatic shape can read a little busy, and its interior looks best in the more expensive versions, says the Car Connection, adding, “We give it a styling score of 8 (out of 10).”

The new K5’s signature feature, like the related Hyundai Sonata, is in lights that slash around the sides and into the honeycomb grille.

It wears a new grille that’s more hawkish, underscored by creases in the hoods that angle toward its beak.

Engine performance

Most K5 models are motivated by a 180-hp turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder that pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission, Car and Driver says in its review.

The engine comes standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional, but not on the GT model.

“The front-drive, 180-hp K5 we drove demonstrated decent acceleration around town, and our testing revealed a 7.0-second trip to 60 mph,” it states.

Interior comfort

Inside the K5, the car really looks amazing. The layout is said to be both sophisticated and straightforward, and the cabin comes with attractive materials such as wood trim on the dash and doors.

The K5 offers an array of upscale interior features, such as ambient interior lighting on the dash and doors, heated and ventilated fronts seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a wireless charging pad.

While the driver’s seat feels high even at its lowest point, the comfortable spot for the left foot and floor-hinged accelerator are nice touches.

The back seat provides generous legroom, and the trunk has plenty of space for luggage.

Safety features

The 2021 K5 has earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.

It was also named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The family sedan offers a variety of standard and optional driver-assistance technology, which include standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking; standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist; available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

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$1bn investment recorded in auto industry – Minister

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The Federal Government has recorded more than one billion dollars’ worth of investments in the automotive industry. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said this in Abuja on Tuesday when he featured at the 20th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard series organsied by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

“Over one billion dollars in investment has been recorded in the automotive sector and we are ready to move on to the next phase for the automotive industry,” the minister said.

He said the review of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was almost completed, adding that the plan was going through validation process.

Adebayo restated the ministry’s commitment toward enabling business environment to attract and retain investments.

According to him, the ministry and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) are committed to attracting and protecting investments that genuinely benefit Nigeria and its citizens.

He said that the revised Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would boost investment.

“Nigeria has successfully revised its model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to include a specific provision for investment facilitation, which institutionalizes the principle of assisting investors in completing their investments.

“We are proud to offer Nigeria’s first investment policy to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.

“This strategic statement, which will outline our priorities, aims, commitments, and expectations, is a turning point for the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and Nigeria as an investment destination,” he said.

Adebayo, who said that Nigeria had Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments, said the ministry was developing more.

“We have IPPAs with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments. The president ratified both accords on Sept. 16, 2022 and we are developing more IPPAs,” he said.

Adebayo said the ministry also distributed 5,571 acceptance certificates worth N7.7 trillion to 2,665,800 firms.

“The acceptance certificates allow businesses claim tax reduction when computing Company Income Tax.

“We also issued more than 130 Production Day Certificates, a crucial Pioneer Status Incentive step,’’ the minister said.

To further accelerate industrialisation, Adebayo said that the ministry was expediting the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country.

According to him, the special economic zones will increase infrastructure availability and provide fiscal incentives for value addition.

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Famous 4×4 Grenadier coming to Nigeria, courtesy Coscharis Motors

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Coscharis Motors has announced its readiness to introduce the popular rugged off-road vehicle, Grenadier, to the Nigerian auto market.

This follows the naming of the auto company by INEOS Automotive as its official retail partner in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the sixth market in Sub-Sahara Africa to join the brand after South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.

A statement on Monday by Abiona Babarinde, the auto firm’s General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “The first Grenadier demonstrator vehicles are expected to arrive in Nigeria in early 2023 with customer deliveries expected to commence within the first quarter.

“All after-sales servicing will be conducted at a dedicated workshop also located in Lagos.”

Commenting on this partnership, the President/CEO of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, said, “We are proud that INEOS Automotive has appointed Coscharis Motors to represent its brand in Nigeria. “This milestone marks another step in the evolution of our company. With our history and experience of the Nigerian market, we know that the INEOS Grenadier is going to be a serious player in the off-road segment.

“We have no doubt that the Grenadier has what it takes to handle Africa’s tough terrain and that it is the perfect option to meet the specific demands of those who need a capable, refined, and reliable off-road vehicle in the region. We look forward to the first customer test drives and hearing public feedback, because this vehicle is definitely going to stir things up in Nigeria.”

The statement quoted Tim Abbott, INEOS Automotive’s Head of Region South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, as saying, “We are carefully selecting our partners across the SSA region, to find people who know their local market and customers, and also understand our brand.

“Coscharis Motors shares our belief that the INEOS Grenadier is the perfect vehicle not only for Nigeria, but for the continent. Our shared passion for off-roading, along with their excellent reputation in the automotive industry, makes it the perfect partnership for Grenadier in Nigeria.”

Coscharis says the Grenadier has been developed to be refined on the road and extraordinarily capable off-road.

“The Grenadier is powered by a choice of two straight-six, 3.0-litre BMW engines. Both the BMW B57 diesel and B58 petrol powertrains have a proven track record, regularly appearing in top ten world’s best engine lists since 2016. They have been used in everything from sports cars to SUVs.

“The two power units bring BMW’s sophistication and refinement to the Grenadier, but they have been enhanced by INEOS Automotive’s engineering team. As well as providing powerful acceleration on tarmac, they also deliver peak torque at low revs – sustaining it through the rev range – for optimal off-road performance,” it states.

It also notes that the carefully calibrated characteristics help the driver to confidently manage the vehicle’s momentum and grip without stressing the engine, ensuring full control when tackling tricky terrain.

It adds, “The refined turbo petrol engine produces 286PS (210kW) and 450Nm (332 lb ft) of torque, while the twin-turbo diesel generates 249PS (183kW) and 550Nm (406 lb ft), for even greater pulling power. Start/stop is built-in, increasing range and preserving air quality when the vehicle is stationary.

“While it is every inch a rugged 4X4, it ticks all the right boxes on the road, too. The chassis combines a five-link suspension setup with Brembo brakes and Bridgestone tyres, meaning the Grenadier is composed, well- mannered and fun to drive no matter what the terrain.”

The firm also reveals that by the end of this year, INEOS Automotive plans to have a network of more than 200 sales and service sites for the Grenadier spanning over 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists and agricultural equipment dealers.

 

 

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Lagos gov, FRSC boss for Nigeria Auto Awards where Chinese, popular brands will flex muscles

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dauda Biu, will be special guests at the forthcoming Nigeria auto industry award.

The award scheduled to hold at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, on February 9, 2023 will witness the emergence of the car of year (2022), outstanding pickup and best-performing truck in Nigeria, among others, where both popular brands are competing with Chinese products.

According to the organisers, Nigeria Auto Journalists Association, other stakeholders that have also indicated interest to be part of the prestigious award ceremony are Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), CFAO Motors, Dangote Peugeot, Kewalram Nigeria Limitedrarf, Mikano Motors and Lanre Shittu Motors.

RT Briscoe, Elizade Autoland, Jet System, Nord Motors, Autochek, GUO Transport, among others have equally confirmed their participation in the formost auto industry event in the country.

Already, finalists have been shortlisted for the auto awards, with GAC GS4, Geely Coolray and Suzuki S-Presso nominated for the ultimate car-of-the-year award category.

NAJA Auto Awards is an annual event that celebrates auto brands across the entire industry value chain in Nigeria.

According to the awards committee, dozens of distinguished automotive journalists from different mediums selected the finalists based on their evaluation of each eligible vehicle as part of their professional work.

In the Truck-of-the-Year category, the contest will involve Sinotruk by Dangote, Shacman truck by TSS and JAC truck from Lanre Shittu Motors.

Innoson, Mikano and GAC will slug it out in the Assembly Plant-of-the-Year category.

In the luxury car segment, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW models are the front runners.

Elizade Autoland (JAC), Stallion Hyundai and CFAO Motors will battle for the outstanding auto workshop honour.

In the SUV category (compact), Kia Selto, Geely Coolray and GAC GS4 have been nominated.

For Large SUV, Toyota Land Cruiser will lock horns with GAC GS8, BMW X7 and Range Rover (Autobiography).

Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200 and Ford Ranger will battle for the Best Pickup award.

Lanre Shittu (JAC truck), TSS (Shacman) and Dangote Sinotruk will also battle again for the truck plant of the year award.

Giving insights into the nominees, Chairman of the 2022 Award Committee, Rasheed Bisiriyu, said all vehicles nominated in the various categories represent exceptional value and designs.

“We are using our respected, trusted platform to recognise and acknowledge best-performing brands in different segments and categories across the entire auto value chain.”

According to him, the award event, which has now become a major industry show, celebrates and rewards automotive excellence.

He also disclosed that the Managing Director of RT Briscoe, Mr Seyi Onajide, and Deputy Managing Director of CFAO Motors, Mr Kunle Jaiyesimi, would be honoured with the Auto Personality of the year in recognition of their immense contributions to the development of Nigeria’s auto industry.

In his own comment, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, said the auto journalist body has always believed in bringing together all the stakeholders in the automotive sector to build a stronger community and strengthen consumers’ confidence and trust in the industry and their brands.

“I would like to congratulate all the nominees for the 2022 edition and look forward to their presence at the grand ceremony,” he added.

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