Kia may not have a rich racing heritage, but the past four years have proven the Koreans can develop competitive race cars. On U.S. soil, the Forte Koup marked the company’s debut in motorsport, specifically in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The Forte was replaced in 2012 by the third-gen Kia Optima, which became the manufacturer’s official entry in the Pirelli World Challenge. After securing its first win in its maiden season, the Optima went on to win the Pirelli World Challenge’s Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class in 2014, defeating rivals from Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche and Aston Martin. As we venture toward the 2015 season, the Koreans have introduced their updated racer at the 2014 SEMA Show.
As you’d expect from a Pirelli World Challenge contender, not much has changed with the Optima GTS. Most internals carry over unmodified, as does the turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine that utilizes many stock Kia parts. There is one thing that’s different from last season’s car though, but you’ll have to read on to find out more about that.
Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Optima Pirelli World Challenge GTS.