Kia’s Optima brand was launched 14 years ago. During the years the Korean automaker underwent to change the car in a number of ways. It actually evolved during the years in a much more sleeker vehicle and became a sporty looking sedan vehicle. Lately, Kia has decided to introduce another style change in the Optima vehicle. The newest concept model, which was introduced at this year’s Paris Motor Show, shows a new drive train made for the new Kia model.
They are calling it 2014 Kia Optima T-Hybrid Concept, and is a vehicle which combines an electric engine of a hybrid car and a diesel engine to go with it. You are probably wondering if you are reading this wrong, but the truth is just that. The third generation of Kia vehicle will include a hybrid engine which combines the power of a diesel engine and safe environment features of a hybrid one. The new technology introduced in the 2014 Kia Optima T-Hybrid Concept will certainly satisfy both the major markets, the mostly diesel-based European market as well as for the hybrid friendly state of California, USA also. This may be a concept vehicle still and talks of a production model are a long ways to go still. But the idea is pretty great and the interest for this car to succeed is also. So we may be getting a release date on Kia Optima T-Hybrid sooner than we might expect.
2014 Kia Optima T-Hybrid Concept Engine
The vehicle will be using a 1.7-liter turbodiesel engine which is combined with a 15-hp electric motor which is powered by a 48V lead-carbon battery. The lithium-ion batteries idea has been abandoned because Kia decided to use the lead-carbon batteries because of them being much easier to recycle and also because they do not require active cooling. The diesel engine which is used is rated at achieving a power of 134 horsepower.
But combined with the extra added power of the electric engine, estimations say that the 2014 Kia Optima T-Hybrid will be able to achieve 160 horsepower and a torque of 280 LB-FT. This is actually an increase of up to 15 to 20 more power than any other vehicle which showcased this combo. We also need to mention a massive reduction in CO2 emissions. As the car is still not in its production phase, no information about the emission numbers is yet released. More fuel-efficiency is also a factor with this drivetrain and it is made possible with the use of a new electric supercharger and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission system.
The vehicle can be used as a conventional hybrid of course. Used mainly for cruising at low speeds powered by the electronic part of the engine. But as the new technology of for the engine is released, there have been some more upgrades added to the new Kia Optima T-Hybrid. The electronic supercharger is matted with the turbocharged diesel mill. This results in a larger torque boost at lower speeds and it also increases the overall power of the vehicle. Secondly, a belt driven starter generator is used instead of the conventional alternator. The engine will restart with no noise whatsoever and will also enhance the stop-start system as well. It also enables quicker throttle response as well. Another feature which the T-Hybrid possesses is the the permitting low-speed vehicle operation in EV mode.
Price and Release Date
We are a long way off a production model. The 2014 Kia Optima T-Hybrid Concept has certainly attracted some appeal and there is a lot of interest for this car. This will most certainly bolster the production model into reality. Until then we cannot estimate the price and will only have to wait for the concept to make it into production and see what happens then.