Kia presented the new generation of the SUV Sorento this March. Kia has announced the new platform and powertrains and has published a little information about the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
++ Kindly find an update of this article below. ++
The Sorento, set to go into production “later this year”, is the first SUV of the brand to be based on the manufacturer’s new platform. This is to form the company’s technical basis for electrification. For the markets in South Korea, North America and Europe, among others, the so-called Smartstream turbo hybrid drive is to be offered.
Kia uses the term Smartstream to summarise engines that the company considers particularly economical. The 2.2-litre diesel, for example, also offered in the Sorento, is also marketed as Smartstream although it does not have any hybrid components.
This first electrified powertrain in the Sorento combines a 1.6-litre turbo gasoline direct injection engine with a 44.2 kW electric motor and a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The overall system mobilizes 169 kW (230 PS) of power. This drive is supposed to offer “high performance with low emissions”, but Kia has not given any figures on this.
Kia does not intend to announce details of the plug-in hybrid version of the new Sorento until a later date, but it seems that this will be different from the previous PHEV versions of the smaller SUV Niro and the Ceed series.
The South Korean company has released some details about the vehicle itself: The fourth generation of the SUV is to be 4.81 metres, around ten millimetres longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been increased by 35 millimetres, which should benefit the space available in the interior and the driving comfort. The “compactly structured engine compartment” should not only offer space for the hybrid technology but also allow for shorter overhangs.
Update 18 March 2020: As the Geneva show was cancelled due to the Corona crisis, Kia has now delivered the Sorento presentation online. The Koreans added no new technical details but some data. European buyers will see the Sorento Hybrid the Q3 and may expect a PHEV variant before the year’s end.
In markets where the Kia Elantra is available, i.e. Korea and the US, the company also presented an update on a new hybrid version. Production of the 2021 Elantra starts in the autumn in the Korean plant of Ulsan and Alabama in the States. Sales begin in the fourth quarter.
>> with reporting by Sebastian Schaal & Nora Manthey.
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