Making European debut, then the US in 2015, the newly upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid got some visual changes and some new features but the third-generation regenerative braking system with greater braking feel and response, a new touchscreen interface specific to the Hybrid system and a new (optional) High Tech Pack of driver assist systems makes for a full package.
What the Details?
The hybrid system consists of a 48V lead carbon battery connected to a small electric motor, increasing the internal combustion engine’s power output. The battery also supplies energy to an electric supercharger, which increases torque and power at low engine speeds.
Under the right conditions, the new hybrid powertrain can drive a car in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising, while the battery is recharged under deceleration. And when the car is stationary, the technology also acts as a zero-emissions stop-start system, performing this function with almost no noise or vibration as it is a belt-starting system. The technology also enables Kia engineers to reduce the size – and weight – of its vehicles’ existing 12V battery.
Lining up alongside the new hybrid powertrain system, Kia also revealed details of its all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
Production of the upgraded Optima Hybrid is scheduled to start in Korea during April 2014 and the new model will go on sale in Europe and other markets later in the year.