A 2.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine appears set to join the Kia Sorento’s powertrain line-up from early next year following the local launch of the updated SUV in October.
The upgraded 141kW/242Nm Theta II GDI powerplant is expected to become the third engine option in Australia, slotting in beneath the 204kW/335Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol and 145kW/422-436Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engines, that will carry over from the current Sorento into the 2013 update.
The 2.4-litre engine, which has previously been available in other international markets, has been fitted with a new cylinder head, new pistons and new fuel injection and intake systems for the mid-life model update.
The revisions have helped reduce CO2 emissions to 199g/km, which roughly translates to fuel consumption of 8.4 litres per 100km. The smaller engine should give the 2.4-litre Sorento a fuel economy advantage over the front-wheel drive V6, which uses 10.0L/100km in the outgoing model.
CarAdvice understands Kia Australia is considering both front- and all-wheel drive versions of the 2.4-litre Sorento GDI, potentially giving the brand a new entry-level variant at a lower price point than the existing V6.
The updated Sorento is expected to launch in October with a similar drivetrain line-up to the outgoing range, including a front-wheel drive V6 six-speed auto, and manual and auto versions of the all-wheel drive diesel.
As it does with every new vehicle it brings to Australia, Kia’s local engineering team has fine-tuned the Sorento’s suspension to optimise it for Australia’s unique road conditions and driver preferences.
The new body shell incorporates a higher percentage of ultra-high-tensile strength steel, and a bracing bar between the top of the suspension towers has helped increase torsional rigidity by 18 per cent, improving ride quality and directional stability. All models are now fitted with larger 320mm ventilated front disc brakes for improved stopping ability.
High-grade models of the Sorento will feature the Korean manufacturer’s new FlexSteer system, first seen in the new Hyundai i30, which allows drivers to select between three steering weight settings: Normal, Sport and Comfort.
Other features still under consideration for our market include blind spot assist, lane departure warning and an automatic reverse parking system.
Full Australian prices and specifications will be revealed at the launch of the 2013 Kia Sorento in October.