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Batman Comic Books Inspire Tricked Out Kia Optima, Making World Debut at NY Time Warner Center

Related: Kia Motors America, Batman, Optima, Time Warner Center, Jim Lee

Kia Motors America (KMA) has teamed up with DC Entertainment and RIDES magazine to create a brooding, Batman-inspired Optima that goes on display this week at the Time Warner Center and signals the beginning of a 10-month partnership based on the iconic characters that make up the Justice League. Influenced by the artistry of comic book icon, Jim Lee, the Kia super hero vehicles will become a force for good in the world by raising awareness of DC Entertainment's "We Can Be Heroes" giving campaign, a relief effort to fight hunger in the Horn of Africa (www.WeCanBeHeroes.org). Fitting for the caped crusader's dark and mysterious personality, Kia's range-topping Optima SX Limited wraps cutting-edge technology and premium amenities in a sleek, aggressive design customized with several unique Batman elements.

"Batman is one of the most popular Super Heroes of all-time, and showcasing in a fun and creative way Kia's top-of-the-line Optima SX Limited as a Batman-themed custom ride underscores this car's potent combination of premium features and turbocharged performance," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing and communications, KMA. "The Optima is our best-selling vehicle and has played a significant role in Kia becoming one of the fastest-growing automotive brands in the U.S. over the last five years[1], and it is the perfect platform to introduce our partnership with DC Entertainment and the Justice League to benefit the 'We Can Be Heroes' campaign."

Working together, Kia, DC Entertainment and RIDES magazine designed and built the Batman-themed Optima, transforming the exterior with a matte- and piano-black paint scheme, a dramatically lowered coilover suspension and muscular ground effects kit, huge Ksport performance brakes for extreme stopping power, custom-designed 20-inch black wheels and a performance exhaust system. Other exterior modifications include a custom front grille shaped like a batwing that took over 40 hours to create, yellow LED lighting accents throughout the vehicle and the iconic bat signal etched into the HID headlights.

Moving beneath the cape, the Optima's seating surfaces are costumed in custom black leather and suede with bold yellow accent stitching. Gotham City's streets are full of villains and the Batman-themed Optima is ready for action at a moment's notice with a Bat suit and cowl mounted in the trunk and utility throwing stars installed in the center console.

As Kia's sales have grown, so has the company's role as a responsible corporate citizen, and the Batman-themed Optima furthers those efforts with two video screens in the front-seat headrests that will raise awareness about the worst hunger crisis in 60 years by featuring a custom "We Can Be Heroes" video that demonstrates how one small act can make anyone a hero.

Starting at just $35,275[2], the Optima Limited, which is built at Kia's U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, is based on the fully loaded turbocharged Optima SX and is offered in Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl and Titanium Metallic exterior colors. The Optima Limited features many details that are mainly found on luxury vehicles, including LED daytime running lights and chrome-accented rear spoiler, lower door sills, wood interior trim and electronic parking brake. Standout red brake calipers can be seen through the Optima Limited's uniquely designed chrome 18-inch wheels while the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injected engine delivers 274 horsepower and achieves up to 22/34 mpg[3] (city/hwy).

DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes —a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies[1] in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website - www.kia.com.

[1] Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending September 2007 and September 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.

[2] MSRP includes $775 destination and handling fee, but not title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

[3] EPA fuel economy estimates 22 mpg/city and 34 mpg/hwy for 2013 Optima SX. Actual mileage will vary.

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