Kia to launch diesel mild hybrid Sportage SUV later this year

Kia Sportage mild-hybrid 2018

Kia Sportage mild-hybrid 2018

To be called EcoDynamics+, the powertrain combines a diesel engine with a 48V electric motor and a new mild-hybrid starter-generator unit.

The MHSG is mounted in the engine bay and connected to the crankshaft by a belt.

Sportage will be the first model to offer the new EcoDynamics+ powertrain later in 2018. The compact nature of the components means the technology can be integrated into existing vehicle and powertrain architectures without impacting practicality or packaging.

Paired with the brand's Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology, the system helps reduce Carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4 percent on the new WLTP, and up to 7 percent on the NEDC, thus enabling "Kia to offer cleaner diesel engines", in their own words. When decelerating, and inverter switches the current of the motor, effectively turning it into a generator to top up the 0.46kWh battery.

The system harvests kinetic energy from the vehicle during in-gear deceleration and braking and uses the power to recharge the batteries before deploying its electric load, in "motor" mode, under acceleration. In "motor" mode, under acceleration, it uses battery charge to add torque to the engine to aid acceleration. It is the first such development at Kia under the company's electrification strategy.

Kia says the starter-generator unit can seamlessly switch from providing up to 13bhp of assistance via a belt that drives the crankshaft to recuperating energy from engine braking. It will be followed by the third-generation Kia Ceed in the early months of next year.

The system is controlled by an advanced Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which calculates the most efficient use of the available energy, and adjusts accordingly, taking into account the amount of charge remaining in the car's batteries. It can even deliver a "Moving Stop-Start" if there's enough charge in the battery.

The 48V battery DC/DC converter enables the battery to connect to the vehicle's on-board power supply, reducing the reliance on the vehicle's 12V battery required to power the vehicle's ancillary electronics.

While some automakers have started ditching oil burners completely, others, such as Kia, continue to invest in new technology that helps diesels improve fuel economy and emit less CO2.

Expect to hear more details soon on the Sportage's use of the EcoDynamics+ powertrain, as well as United Kingdom pricing and specifications.

The EcoDynamics+ will be eventually adapted for use in petrol engines too, and is compatible with manual and automatic transmissions.

The carmaker says more details about the hybrid and its implementation will be released "in due course", at first for the United Kingdom market.

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