Kia reveals new powertrain technologies at 2014 Geneva Motor Show

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

  • Future generation Kias to be available with Mild Hybrid versions
  • New 7-speed DCT gearbox to be introduced from 2015
  • Upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid to go on sale in mainland Europe from late 2014

Kia previews future powertrain technologies with all-new mild hybrid system

  • New mild hybrid powertrain combines zero-emissions urban motoring with an electric supercharger for greater performance
  • Engineered to reduce diesel and petrol emissions by up to 15 per cent
  • New powertrain will be available on next-generation Kia models

Kia revealed its all-new mild hybrid powertrain today at the Geneva Motor Show. The powertrain - part of a future technologies exhibit on Kia's show stand - is designed to simultaneously reduce emissions and improve engine performance in Kia's next-generation models.

Developed by Kia's European R&D centre in Russelsheim, Germany, the new hybrid system employs a 48 volt lead-carbon battery, which powers a small electric motor to increase the engine's power output and cut exhaust emissions. The development team behind the mild hybrid powertrain selected lead-carbon batteries over lithium-ion equivalents as they require no active cooling, are more easily recyclable at the end of the vehicle's life and can function much more efficiently in sub-zero temperatures.

Kia's mild hybrid system will enable a car to be driven in an electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, while the battery is recharged under deceleration at all speeds. In heavy traffic and on urban roads, the powertrain will also feature a zero-emission stop-start system. Using a belt-driven starter generator - replacing the conventional alternator - the engine is able to restart with almost no noise or vibration.

The battery also supplies energy to an electric supercharger, which increases torque and power at low engine speeds. Engineers behind the development of the powertrain see the electric supercharger supporting a larger conventional turbocharger, which would seamlessly take over to provide greater power and torque as engine speeds rise. The new hybrid system could also be fitted without the electric supercharger for a simpler powertrain layout in smaller models.

In applying the technology to production cars, Kia engineers are targeting reductions in CO2 emissions of up to 15 per cent, while the electric supercharger is designed to deliver power increases of 15 to 20 per cent depending on its application.

The new powertrain would also allow vehicle development engineers to reduce the size of a vehicle's existing battery and starter motor.

The new mild hybrid powertrain will be available on new diesel and petrol production cars from Kia in the near future.

Kia unveils new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission

  • Kia launches its first seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT)
  • Transmission will improve fuel efficiency and acceleration
  • New DCT will appear on production models in 2015

Kia unveiled its all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) at the Geneva Motor Show, pointing the way for future transmission developments from the Korean brand.

The new transmission - the first of its type from Kia - has been engineered to balance greater fuel efficiency with improved performance and to deliver a sportier driving experience.

Designed as a more fuel efficient replacement for Kia's existing six-speed automatic transmission, currently available as an option on the majority of Kia models, the new DCT combines the advantages of both manual and automatic transmissions while allowing for faster gear changes than both.

Throughout the development process, engineers have been targeting a seven per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and a five percent improvement in acceleration (0-100 kph / 62 mph) over the existing six-speed DCT transmission.

NVH has also been a key focus for the team behind the DCT's development, with an external damper ensuring a high level of refinement for the new transmission.

The DCT is made up of two dry clutches, each fitted with an electric motor-driven clutch actuator to improve fuel economy, and a pair of gear input shafts, one each for the odd and even gear ratios. This set-up enables the DCT to operate sequentially or to jump immediately to any of its seven forward gears (and reverse) depending on the driver's requirements.

The continuous power delivery offered by the DCT minimises the loss of torque by the powertrain during gear shifting and ensures a smoother drive in all conditions. The wide ratio coverage afforded to the engine by the seven-speed gearbox results in improved fuel efficiency and performance over rival six-speed DCTs.

The new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will start to appear on production Kia cars in 2015.

Upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid revealed at Geneva Show

  • Refreshed look for streamlined saloon with Cd 0.26 aerodynamics
  • New features include ventilated front seats and 8-inch display screen
  • Improved braking, plus remarkable performance/economy blend

The upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid was unveiled by Kia Motors today at the Geneva Motor Show, marking the European debut of this streamlined saloon with a drag coefficient of just Cd 0.26 in its latest form.

Visually, the upgraded Optima Hybrid features newly-designed front and rear bumpers, the front incorporating new four-spot LED fog lamps and a revised design for Kia's trademark ‘Tiger nose' grille. The car's profile is also improved with a new side-sill garnish, wing garnish and new, five-spoke 16- and 17-inch alloy wheel designs. At the rear, the boot lid sports Kia's new style eco-hybrid badge, the bumper has a black lower section and the exhaust tailpipe is hidden.

With the upgraded model, customers will also be able to specify a new ‘White Package' interior option, with white upholstery and gloss black cabin accents. Two new exterior paint finishes, Smoky Blue and Aluminium Silver, complete the visual changes and join three carry-over colours - Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black and Bright Silver.

Available only in left-hand drive (as previously), the latest Optima Hybrid will also be fitted with a range of new features, including a new touchscreen interface specific to the Hybrid system, an 8-inch display for the navigation system, iPod connectivity, ventilated front seats and air vents in the rear of the cabin.

A new ‘High Tech Pack' is available as an option, incorporating Blind Spot Detection, Lane Keep Assist and Smart Parking Assist systems.

Kia's third-generation regenerative braking system is fitted to the upgraded Optima Hybrid. The new system is 1.2 kg lighter and is faster reacting with a new iBAU (Integrated Brake Actuation Unit) which cuts the time delay before the ABS is activated and shortens braking distance from 62 mph by 1.7 metres. For the driver, there is also greater braking feel and an improved response to pedal inputs.

The petrol-electric hybrid powertrain is carried over unchanged in the latest version of the Optima Hybrid. Together the 2.0-litre engine and 35 kW electric motor produce a combined output of 177 ps at 5,500 rpm and 319 Nm of torque between 1,000 and 2,000 rpm. The saloon delivers a remarkable blend of performance (0-62mph in 9.4 sec, top speed 118 mph), fuel economy (5.1 l/100 km) and low CO2 emissions (119 g/km) with 17-inch wheels. In The Netherlands, where Optima Hybrid is fitted with 16-inch wheels as standard, the vehicle's CO2 figure is 117 g/km.

Production of the upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid is scheduled to start in Korea during April 2014 and the new model will go on sale across Europe later this year.

Upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid - EU Technical Specifications

Body & Chassis

Four-door, five-seater saloon, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Transverse petrol engine and hybrid electric motor powertrain driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.



2.0-litre / 150 ps GDi


Name / Type


‘Nu' / DOHC, four-cylinder in line, with dual CVVT



2.0-litres, 1999 cc


Max power


150 ps (110 kW) @ 6000 rpm


Max torque


180 Nm (18.35 kg.m) @ 5000 rpm

Fuel system


Multi-point injection


Electric Motor




Interior-Permanent Magnet Synchronous motor

Max power


47 ps (35 kW) @ 1,630-3000 rpm

Max torque


205 Nm (20.9 kg.m) @ 0-1630 rpm



Max 270 V DC (nominal)


Combined Hybrid System Output


Max power


177 ps (131 kW) @ 5500 rpm


Max torque


319 Nm (32.5 kg.m) @ 1000-2000 rpm


Battery for Hybrid System




Lithium-ion Polymer




270 V




5.3 Ah




41.3 kg








Suspension & Damping




Fully independent by MacPherson struts, with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll 22 mm stabiliser bar



Fully independent multi-link, with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll 18 mm stabiliser bar





MDPS, electric motor driven power-assisted rack and pinion



2.94 turns lock-to-lock


Turning circle


10.9 metres






Single 10.5 -inch booster (LHD)



300 x 28 mm ventilated discs




284 x 10 mm solid discs




4-channel anti-lock system with EBD



Boosts braking power during emergency stops


Wheels & Tyres




Alloy 16 in x 6.5J

205/65 R16 tyres


Alloy 17 in x 6.5J

215/55 R17 tyres

Spare (Standard)

Tyre mobility kit






Overall length



Overall width*


Overall height





Front track


1601-1595 (depending on wheel size)

Rear track


1601-1595 (depending on wheel size)

Front overhang



Rear overhang



Ground clearance



*excluding door mirrors

















Shoulder room




Hip room







Fuel tank (litres)



Luggage (VDA)

381 litres


Kerb weights (kg)












Top speed / kph



0-to-100 kph / sec



100-to-0 kph / m

36.7 (17-inch wheels)


41.5 (16-inch wheels, Netherlands only)


Economy & Emissions


Combined (l/100 km)



CO2 (g/km)


119 (17-inch wheels)


117 (16-inch wheels, Netherlands only)

*fuel consumption and CO2 data are manufacturer's figures



For further information on Kia please visit or contact:

Stephen Kitson

Director of Corporate Communications - 01932 832075 - 07795 011936


Matthew Bendall  

Senior Press Officer - 01932 832073 - 07747 149149


Sara Drummond-Bell 

Senior Press Officer - 01932 832072 - 07919 482332


Carly Escritt

Press Officer (Press Fleet) - 01932 832071 - 07557 262252


Rosie Puxley

Press Office Assistant - 01932 832079 - 07795 011475


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