Kia has unveiled at Paris Motor Show the interesting Optima T-Hybrid concept, following an online reveal at the end of September.
The mild hybrid Optima concept combines the standard 1.7-liter four-cylinder CRDi turbodiesel engine with an electric motor which has bumped output by 15-20 percent. The conventional engine has been equipped with an electric supercharger providing more power in the entire rpm range but especially at low engine speeds when the vehicle benefits from extra torque.
There's also a 48V lead-carbon battery allowing the concept to be driven only on the power provided by the electric motor at low speeds. During deceleration, the generated energy is transferred to the battery pack which does not need active cooling compared to the usual lithium-ion batteries. Other changes include a stop/start system and a new belt-driven starter generator which significantly decreases the noise and vibration generated during the engine's start.
Aside from packing more punch than the regular Optima, the T-Hybrid concept also provides a "significant reduction" in both fuel consumption and CO2 figures. However, the concept is still being developed so a production version is not on the agenda yet.