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by Matt Brogan

Kia has used the Frankfurt Motor Show as a stage to release its innovative cee’d petrol-electric and Sorento diesel-electric hybrid cars.

These vehicles will be tested over many thousands of kilometres across Europe and will generate data for inclusion in the design process of Kia vehicles during the next decade.

The new-look cee’d hybrid powertrain is similar to the new Cerato (Forte) LPI hybrid, but the four-cylinder, 1.6-litre engine runs on petrol, rather than LPG.

Like the Soul hybrid (shown at the Paris Motor Show last year), the new cee’d hybrid uses an upgraded powertrain developed from the earlier Rio hybrid.

The cee’d hybrid now features Kia’s Gamma petrol engine, mated to a 15kW, 105Nm AC synchronised electric motor, Kia’s own Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Kia’s proven Start/Stop (ISG) fuel-saving stop/start motoring system.

The high-torque electric motor generates its maximum torque (105Nm) from just 1500rpm and the Li-Poly 180 volt, 5.3Ah power pack is located at the side of the boot.

Kia calculates that the new cee’d hybrid accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 11.8 seconds, can reach a top speed of 185km/h, and the prototype achieves a CO2 figure of 96g/km. Compared to the standard 1.6-litre petrol cee’d, CO2 emissions are reduced by 25 per cent.

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The all-new Sorento hybrid is powered by an all-new powertrain featuring Kia’s U2 1.6-litre, turbo-diesel engine, known from Kia Soul, and now available in the new cee’d and new Venga.

For Sorento, the VGT-turbo has been replaced by a two-stage turbocharger to generate more than 120kW. The diesel engine is mated to a 40kW electric motor and drives the front wheels via Kia’s new dual-clutch transmission, offering a perfect blend of comfort and high efficiency.

The innovative ‘Integrated package module’ located in the boot under the floor, combines Lithium Ion Polymer Batteries with an Inverter and Converter.

Taking advantage of the new Sorento’s weight loss compared to its predecessor, the extreme engine downsizing concept of this diesel hybrid reduces the weight by more than 100kg. The Sorrento diesel hybrid weighs 1663kg (eight per cent less than a comparable Sorento).

Combined with its sleeker body shape, the Sorento diesel hybrid features airflow-smoothing under floor panels, a rear window spoiler, aerodynamic wheel rims, lower suspension (by 25 mm) and narrower tyres (225 compared to 235 section).

The engine cooling has also been optimised using an active front grille that opens and closes, depending on cooling demand to achieve ‘best-in-class’ aerodynamics.

The result all these changes and adaptations is C02 emissions, which are reduced to just 119g/km (30 per cent lower than best Sorento) – a truly remarkable figure for a large SUV.

The new KIA Sorento, unfortunately not with this experimental hybrid power, is due in Australia early in November.

With KIA Europe




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