Kia Motors has announced the current Optima will receive two hybrid powertrains in the majority of the company’s global markets in 2016

Kia Motors has announced the current Optima will receive two hybrid powertrains in the majority of the company’s global markets in 2016.

Starting with the Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), this variant represents a new addition to the model’s range. Scheduled to reach customers in the second half of 2016, it will feature a 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery back, roughly six times the energy output of that found in the current-generation Optima Hybrid, according to the manufacturer. It will be paired to a 68 HP (50 kW) electric motor, itself 42% more powerful than in the previous Optima hybrid version. This combination will allow the vehicle to travel up to 27 miles on electric power alone.

The powertrain also employs a 2.0-liter ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI gasoline direct injection engine, expected to generate 156 HP (115 kW) and 189 Nm (140 lb-ft). The total power output of the system will be 205 HP (151 kW) at 6,000 rpm and it will be applied to the road through a six-speed automatic gearbox and a transmission-mounted 68 HP (50 kW) electric motor, which replaces the traditional torque converter in non-hybrid Optima models. The company says the Optima PHEV is expected to deliver 99 MPGe combined (US), while once plugged in, the PHEV will recharge in less than three hours at a 240V Level 2 charging station.

As for the Optima Hybrid, it will offer 10% better fuel economy thanks to a system that consists of a 156 HP (115 kW) 2.0-liter ‘Nu’ GDI engine and a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a 52 HP (38 kW) electric motor and clutch to replace the traditional torque converter. The combined power output of the powertrain stands at 195 HP (143 kW) at 6,000 rpm.

An upgraded lithium-polymer battery pack with a capacity of 1.62 kWh will also be part of the system and will be fitted underneath the trunk floor. This should result in a more practical loading area and enabling the use of 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

The Optima HEV is expected to go on sale in the first half of 2016.

Source: Kia

Note: Kia K5 Hybrid (Korea-spec) pictured.

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