Coming off its first two motorsports championships in
company history in the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSSC), Kia
Motors America (KMA) announced plans to increase its racing footprint next year
with the unveiling of striking and track-ready rides at the 2011 SEMA Show. The
specially-outfitted Optima Hybrid built by GoGoGear.com will lead the field as
the official pace car of the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC), a
role previously filled by the funky Soul urban passenger vehicle since 2010.
Kia Racing has proven its mettle on the race track as a
competitor, but the brand is no stranger to pace car duty either – the Kia Soul
has been the official Safety Car of the USTCC since March 2010 and a 2011
Optima SX served as the official pace car for both the Rolex Sports Car Series
"Grand Prix of Miami" and CTSCC races earlier this year at
Homestead-Miami Speedway. For 2012, the stylish and fuel-efficient Optima
Hybrid replaces the Soul at the front of the USTCC pack and will lead the field
during warm-up and caution flag laps to ensure a safe start or restart of a
race. Already noted for delivering class-leading fuel economy of up to 40 miles
per gallon on the highway2, the crew at GoGoGear.com have added a free-flow air
intake system, Magnaflow® exhaust system, coil-over suspension kit to lower the
ride height, front splitter and rear wing, lightweight wheels and performance
tires that will better stick to the racing surface. The USTCC Optima Hybrid
also features an eye-catching exterior with a custom color scheme, series
graphics and an array of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID
headlights, strobe lights and LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic
while on duty.
Moving inside, a state-of-the-art, 2,400-watt audio and
video system is connected to Infinity®3 speakers and amplifiers and rear
passengers can enjoy a DVD system with dual seven-inch monitors in the
front-seat headrests with wireless headphones. Adding to the Optima Hybrid's
newfound raciness are custom leather seats with green stitching to match the
exterior trim color. The Optima Hybrid Safety Car is scheduled to make its
first USTCC appearance in March 2012.
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