Kia, the Korean automotive brand that has taken Sri Lanka by storm, has unveiled a diesel-electric turbo hybrid version of it Optima luxury sedan, demonstrating the brand’s innovative new mild hybrid powertrain.
Powered by the model’s existing 1.7 litre CRDI turbo-diesel engine, and an electric motor that runs on a 48V lead-carbon battery, the vehicle features a zero-emissions stop-start system, and can be driven in electric –only mode at low speeds while cruising.
"The concept car showcases the extent to which Kia has developed hybrid technology," said Andrew Perera, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors (Lanka) Limited. "Although a right-hand drive version is not envisaged, Kia fans in Sri Lanka will be very enthusiastic about this development because it could one day benefit other models."
A new belt-driven starter generator replaces the conventional alternator in the Optima diesel hybrid, meaning the engine can restart with virtually no noise or vibration. The system also allows an innovative electric supercharger for the CRDI engine in additional to the conventional turbocharger, providing improved power and torque at all engine speeds.
Kia’s engineers are targeting a significant reduction in CO2, tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption and a power increase of 15 to 20 per cent for any model that could be equipped with the new powertrain.
One of the highest selling brands in the Sports Utility (SUV) segment in Sri Lanka with the Kia Sorento and the Kia Sportage, Kia Motors attributes its popularity to its design-driven aesthetics, class-leading features and performance and value-for-money proposition. Popular Kia models in the passenger car segment in Sri Lanka are the Kia Optima, Kia Cerato, Kia Rio and Kia Picanto.
The new generation Kia Optima, known in some markets as ‘Magentis’ was launched in Sri Lanka in August 2011, and has remained a benchmark for luxury driving, superlative design and motoring safety.
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