48V diesel powertrain to debut in Sportage, but it isn't coming to Australia

Kia has detailed its new EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid system, which will debut in the Sportage SUV later this year – but it won't be coming to Australia.

Combining a turbo-diesel engine with a 48V electric motor, Kia says the mild-hybrid setup "provides electric power and reduces engine load under acceleration", while also recuperating energy during in-gear deceleration and braking.

A 0.46kWh 48V lithium-ion battery and Mild-Hybrid Starter Generator (MHSG) can provide up to 10kW of power in 'motor' mode, while the 'Moving Stop&Start' function allows the combustion engine to be turned off when slowing down.

The company claims the new powertrain cuts CO2 emissions by up to 4.0 per cent under the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) and 7.0 per cent in the New European Driving Cycle when combined with a manual transmission.

Additionally, the packaging of the new system allows a smaller 12V battery to power the vehicle's ancillary electronics, along with a downsized starter motor.

Kia's EcoDynamics+ system is compatible with manual and automatic transmissions, and can be adapted to front-, rear- and all-wheel drive layouts. The company says the powertrain can also be used for petrol engines as well.

First to receive the mild-hybrid system will be the Sportage SUV "later in 2018" – likely the facelifted model (above) expected to be released later this year. The new-generation Ceed will be the "second among a range" of the company's models to offer the powertrain from 2019.

The announcement confirms reports out of Europe from January claiming the Sportage and Ceed would be getting mild-hybrid technology in the near future.

Australia

Kia's local division reaffirmed its position on hybrids that we reported last month, telling CarAdvice it won't be introducing the technology in Australia.

Instead, the company plans to go straight to pure-electric power with two EVs due Down Under by 2021. One of these could be the new Niro EV, which was revealed in Korea a fortnight ago – though it's only "under consideration" at this stage.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest Kia updates.