The powertrain, dubbed EcoDynamics, will reduce Carbon dioxide emissions of the Sportage by aiding acceleration with electric power from its additional 48-volt battery, and using a mild-hybrid starter-generator (MHSG) unit to extend the time that the diesel engine is not under load. Kia's mild-hybrid powertrain is created to fit seamlessly into consumers' lives, with no plug-in recharging required.
Controlled by an advanced ECU, the powertrain benefits from a new "Moving Stop & Start" function.
EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid technology offers a greater cost-to-performance ratio compared to full hybrid powertrains. In "generator" mode, the system harvests kinetic energy from the vehicle during in-gear deceleration and braking and uses the power to recharge the batteries. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during in-gear deceleration and braking. After the diesel mild hybrid's introduction, Kia will use the technology in a gasoline-powered vehicle. Reigniting the engine is done by pressing the acceleration pedal.
The electrified models will be two of 16 new advanced-powertrain vehicles Kia will introduce by 2025, including a electric version of Kia's Niro SUV later this year. The battery will sit below the boot floor in most installations, and the strain this system takes off the traditional starter motor and 12v battery means that both of those items can be replaced with smaller, more compact components. The battery will link into the vehicle's power system allowing a significant reduction in the size of the 12-volt starter battery and the starter motor, which will normally only be required for cold starts at low temperatures. The system also reduces engine load during normal to light acceleration. Charge from the 48V battery helps to start the engine in most conditions.
The EcoDynamics+ will be eventually adapted for use in petrol engines too, and is compatible with manual and automatic transmissions.
Details of the pricing, performance and specification of the new Kia Sportage SUV have yet to be announced.