Kia to introduce diesel-hybrid powertrain later this year

Kia to introduce diesel-hybrid powertrain later this year

A mild-hybrid diesel variant of the Kia Sportage SUV will go on sale before the end of 2018. The all-new third-generation Kia Ceed will be the second among a range of Kia models to offer the new powertrain from 2019. In "motor" mode, under acceleration, it uses battery charge to add torque to the engine to aid acceleration. The system uses the start-stop feature.

Paired with the brand's Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology, the system helps reduce Carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4 percent on the new WLTP, and up to 7 percent on the NEDC, thus enabling "Kia to offer cleaner diesel engines", in their own words.

Although it hasn't gone into detail as to what diesel engine will be part of the system, Kia has revealed that electrification will come in the form of a 48-volt battery powering a starter generator, allowing extended engine "off time" at lower speeds. When decelerating, and inverter switches the current of the motor, effectively turning it into a generator to top up the 0.46kWh battery. Because the MHSG integrates directly with the engine, driving the crankshaft via a belt, there is little need to repackage the engine bay.

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The first vehicle to get the combustion-electric combo - the mild hybrid will be mounted under the boot floor - will be the Sportage which will be launched later this year.

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.

The diesel mild-hybrid powertrain is compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions, and could be adapted for front-, rear- and all-wheel drivetrain layouts. The powertrain will also be adapted for use in petrol engines.

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