What is it?
A ground-breaking world first, that's what. Well, sort of: the Kia Ceed is welcoming mild-hybrid technology as part of a pre-facelift tech update due in the UK in late 2020, and the South Korean manufacturer claims this is the first time a 48V mild-hybrid system will be used alongside an electronic clutch.
The theory goes that the family hatch will eke out better fuel economy from its diesel engine without needing to sacrifice the driver involvement that comes with a manual gearbox.
Kia’s ‘intelligent Manual Transmission’ (iMT) uses a clutch-by-wire system in tandem with the starter/generator to switch the engine off earlier than was previously possible when coming to a stop. It also allows the car to briefly turn off and coast in gear at speeds of up to 77mph. The end result is less fuel used and less CO2 pumped into the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Kia is introducing a handful of new services to its smartphone integration system, with improved traffic predictions, augmented reality navigation and transferable driver profiles all part of the new package.
Beyond that, the Ceed is just the same, with a full facelift of the line-up not due until later next year.