Kia Optima Hybrid at 2010 LA Auto Show image

Kia today held the world premiere of its all-new Optima Hybrid sedan at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Kia-developed power train that promises to deliver hybrid performance and 48 mpg class-leading fuel efficiency.

Arriving in US Kia dealer showrooms early next year, the Optima Hybrid is the brand’s first-ever hybrid for North America and uses a ‘full parallel hybrid system’ – acceleration to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds, top speed 121 mph – and economy, achieving a 40.7% mpg improvement compared with a regular Optima.

The 2.4-litre petrol engine is mated to a small electric motor and drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission – without the traditional torque converter. A special clutch is fitted between the engine and motor, enabling the petrol engine to be de-coupled from the powertrain so that Optima can be operated in zero-tailpipe-emissions, full-electric drive mode from standstill up to 62 mph. The system’s configuration does not require a high-capacity electric motor and generator, saving weight and cost.
When braking, the electric motor converts kinetic energy into electricity for storage in the battery pack. The 8.5 kW HSG also functions as a generator to re-charge the battery pack if the state of charge is low and when the car is stationary. Throughout the entire driving experience, under all conditions, the entire hybrid operation is automatic and seamless.

Described by Kia engineers as a Transmission-Mounted-Electric-Drive (TMED), the 30kW IPM electric motor sits within the car’s extended transmission casing (between the petrol engine and the automatic gearbox) and is the world’s first oil-cooled system.
All Optima models share common major dimensions and a unitary construction. Featuring front-wheel-drive, Optima utilizes independent suspension systems, with MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link layout at the rear.

Kia Optima Hybrid

Kia Optima Hybrid / Specifications
Exterior Dimensions
Overall Length: 4845 mm
Width: 1830 mm
Height: 1450 mm
Wheel base: 2795 mm
Powertrain / 2.4-litre Hybrid
Petrol engine
Capacity/type 2.4-litre, DOHC, 16-valve
Power 168 ps / 166 hp
Torque 209 Nm / 154 lb ft
Electric motor
Power 40.7 ps / 30 kW
Torque 205 Nm / 151 lb ft
Combined System
Power 209 ps / 206.2 hp
Torque 265 Nm / 195.4 lb ft
Automatic 6-speed (without torque converter)
Clutch Wet type, laminated
Weights & Capacities
Kerb weight 1,583 kg
Fuel tank 65 litres
Boot 280 litres
Fuel Economy*
Urban 43 mpg
Extra-urban 48 mpg
Combined 45 mpg
*manufacturer’s estimated figures, Imperial (UK) gallons.