South Korean automaker Kia Motors has recently unveiled its eco plans for the midsize Optima sedan, which include the addition of two hybrid powertrains across most of the brand’s global markets come next year.
The most interesting will be the Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), which is an entirely new model coming to the family and has been advertised as reaching showrooms during the latter half of 2016. The eco-conscious version will employ a 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, which is six times bigger in terms of energy output than the current-generation Optima Hybrid, says the company. The batteries will send electricity to a 68 HP (50 kW) electric motor, which is 42% more powerful than in the previous Optima hybrid version, allowing the PHEV to gain an all-electric autonomy of 27 miles. The powertrain’s internal combustion engine is a 2.0-liter ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI gasoline direct injection engine, which should churn out 156 HP (115 kW) and 189 Nm (140 lb-ft) for a total output of 205 HP (151 kW). The assembly should deliver outstanding fuel economy – 99 MPGe combined in the US cycle, with recharging taking no more than three hours when using a 240V Level 2 charging station.
The other option will be the regular Optima Hybrid, which should be 10 percent more fuel efficient thanks to the new powertrain consisting off the 156 HP (115 kW) 2.0-liter ‘Nu’ GDI engine and a six-speed automatic gearbox that also includes a 52 HP (38 kW) electric motor and clutch instead of the regular torque converter – total output is of 195 HP (143 kW) and the model also has an updated lithium-polymer battery pack of 1.62 kWh housed under the trunk floor.