The all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid, Kia’s first such vehicle, makes its European premiere in Geneva, before going on sale across Europe in Q4 2016.
The all-new Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack paired with a 50 kW electric motor, allowing it to operate in pure-electric mode for more than 54 km (33 miles or above) at speeds as high as 75 mph, placing the Optima Plug-in Hybrid among the leaders in the D-segment for pure-electric range.
The new Optima Plug-in Hybrid has an estimated 965 km (600 miles) of total driving range. Kia’s development teams are targeting combined CO2 emissions of just 37 g/km, which will ensure a low total cost of ownership for private and fleet buyers alike.
The innovative powertrain employs Kia’s efficient 2.0-liter ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI engine at its core, which on its own generates 154 hp and 189 Nm. The engine is coupled with the electric motor, which allows the car to operate in charge-sustaining mode once the battery runs out of charge. The powertrain’s total power output is 204 hp at 6,000 rpm, and, with the addition of electric power, torque output is 375 Nm (276 lb ft) from just 2,300 rpm.
The Optima Plug-in Hybrid adopts a range of enhancements designed to improve its aerodynamic efficiency, including reprofiled front and rear bumpers and an all-new active air flap grille, which reduces the drag coefficient to just 0.25 Cd (0.27 Cd for the Optima sedan).
There are also two key technologies to save and regenerate battery power – regenerative braking and an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, with a driver-only ventilation function to conserve energy. Available to European buyers later in 2016, a new Coasting Guide Control (CGC) function is also currently in development, allowing the car to anticipate road conditions to reduce energy use and harvest additional electrical power.
To increase available cargo capacity in the trunk, the new battery pack is hidden behind the rear seat and tire well, giving Optima PHEV one of the largest cargo areas among all midsize PHEVs. This thoughtful change also provides the space needed to offer 60/40 split-folding rear seats, which significantly increases the vehicle’s utility. Additional power to the battery system is generated from the vehicle’s improved Regenerative Braking System, which maximizes regenerative torque through refined cooperative control between the hybrid control unit and the brake actuation unit, resulting in a 10 percent increase in regenerative energy. The Optima Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a single charging port conveniently located in the driver’s side front fender. A full charge can be achieved in less-than three hours via a 240V (Level 2) charger.
The all-new Optima PHEV provides its driver with options to reserve electric range via a plug-in hybrid mode select system. Exclusive to the PHEV variant of the all-new Optima, the system includes an all-Electric Mode (EV), which is suitable for short-range city driving, Hybrid Mode (HEV) for highway driving, and Charging Mode, which increases energy direction to the battery while driving at higher speeds. The energy produced while in Charging Mode can then be utilized in EV mode, extending the convenience of full electric power without stopping to charge.
All-new Eco-DAS (Driver Assistance System) features Kia’s first application of Coasting Guide. This feature aims at maximizing fuel economy by essentially coaching the driver on when to coast and brake via an icon in the Instrument Panel that blinks for four-seconds and sounds a one-time audible alert.