Kia has a brand new Optima hybrid with an efficient diesel engine in the works, but don’t expect it in the U.S. anytime soon.
The Kia Optima Mild Hybrid (AKA T-Hybrid) features a 1.7-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor and a 48V lead-carbon battery pack. Using what is called a mild-hybrid system; the electric motor does not propel the car on its own, but rather allows the turbodiesel engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking, or stopped. This system replaces the conventional alternator while regenerative braking recharges the battery.
The Kia Optima Mild Hybrid is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show, soon and with its debut the official efficiency figures will be made public.
While no news has come out about mass producing the Optima Mild Hybrid, speculation is that it will not come to the U.S. But why? Kia does have a strong presence here; however it seems that the goal is to introduce the hybrid to the European market first where efficiency standards are a bit more lenient towards diesel emissions, and the use of diesel fuel is less of an issue than it is here in the U.S.
All in all, this is a use of new technology for Kia and hopes are high that the end result will generate enough buzz to take the Kia Optima Mild Hybrid from the motor show to the road soon.
Source: Green Car Reports