'Mild Hybrid' Kia Sportage due later this year

'Mild Hybrid' Kia Sportage due later this year

In a bid to reduce emissions, Kia is delivering a new 48V mild hybrid diesel powerplant to its United Kingdom cars this year (Kia say in the second half of 2018) initially in the Kia Sportage but likely to be offered more extensively across the Kia range.

Kia says the new powertrain makes it the first manufacturer to offer mild-hybrid, conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, with a fuel-cell electric vehicle set to follow in 2020.

Adding electric assistance to the Sportage's diesel engine upon take off and under partial loads, the electric motor provides 10kW of power and is said to improve overall efficiency by 4 per cent. In "generator" mode, the system collects kinetic energy from the vehicle during deceleration and braking and uses the power to recharge the batteries. By electronically controlling the MHSG using the inverter, the system switches between two modes: "motor" and "generator". It also extends the vehicle's "start-stop" capability by shutting down the engine as the vehicle coasts to a rest.

The new EcoDynamics+ engine will feature in the Kia Sportage when it debuts, then later in the third-generation Ceed in 2019.

The automaker says the system will help reduce Carbon dioxide emissions, lowering this by up to 4% on the new worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure (WLTP) and 7% on an NEDC calculation.

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Full prices and specs for vehicles fitted with the new powertrain are yet to be confirmed.

Kia says that the compact packaging of the system means that it'll be relatively straightforward to install in the brand's current model ranges. Because the MHSG integrates directly with the engine, driving the crankshaft via a belt, there is little need to repackage the engine bay. And because the 48V battery connects to the car's on-board power supply it means a smaller 12v battery and starter motor. The powertrain will also be adapted for use in petrol engines.

The system is compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions vehicles, and could be adapted for front or rear wheel drive, or all-wheel drivetrain configurations.

Kia will announce more detailed plans for the roll-out of its new mild-hybrid technology later this year.

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