The new European-designed hybrid system uses a 48-volt lead-carbon battery powering a small electric motor that will enable cars to be driven at low and constant speeds in pure EV mode. The battery also drives an electric supercharger but will, in time, support a conventional turbocharger.
Kia says the powertrain could operate without the supercharger for a more straightforward layout in smaller models.
The hybrid system uses a belt-driven starter-generator to virtually eliminate noise and vibration on start-up.
Kia says the new technology, which will be offered in petrol and diesel-powered models “in the near future”, could reduce CO2 emissions by 25 per cent while delivering a 15 to 20 per cent increase in power.
Kia has also revealed an all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, engineered to deliver improved performance and fuel economy. The unit will replace the current six-speed DCT from 2015. Engineers have targeted a seven per cent improvement in fuel economy and a five per cent improvement in 0-62mph times.
The new gearbox uses two dry clutches, each fitted with a motor-driven actuator and a pair of input shafts – one each for odd and ratios – allowing the driver to jump immediately to the required gear.