SEMA 2011: Kia Optima Hybrid Pace Car to replace Soul as Safety Car at USTCC

Ah – the Kia Optima – one of the sexiest sedans on the market (yes, we said it). At the 2011 SEMA Show, Kia announced that it will return to the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) in 2012 with a fuel-efficient Optima Hybrid car that will replace the Kia Soul as the official Safety Car of the even.

Click here for more news on the Kia Optima.

“The USTCC Safety Car will lead the racing field during warm-up and caution flag laps to ensure a safe start and restarts of each race,” Kia said. “With 206 combined horsepower from the gasoline and electric motor, the Optima Hybrid has plenty of power but the crew at has added a few performance enhancements, including 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 Kia Optima Hybrid has a very eye-catching exterior with custom vinyl graphics, color scheme and a range of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID headlights, strobe lights and LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic.

For those driving the Safety Car, the inside is fitted with an awesome Infinity sounds system, a navigation system, a video system, wireless headphones, and 7-inch monitors in the head rests. Really? Is all that necessary in a Safety Car?

– By: Omar Rana