Kia chose the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce its new hatchback-cum-SUV, the Venga. But attracting more attention were hybrid versions of two of the South Korean manufacturer’s other models, the just-facelifted Ceed and new Sorento.
There are lots of different forms of electric vehicle, so how has Kia gone about creating its Ceed hybrid and Sorento hybrid?
In two very different ways. Following on the heels of Kia’s home-market launch of its Forte hybrid, the Ceed hybrid’s drivetrain employs a similar set-up with a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a 20bhp/77lb ft electric motor. Further adding to the Ceed hybrid’s environment-saving credentials is the fuel-saving ISG start/stop system.
To create the Sorento hybrid Kia mated a modified version of its 1.6-litre turbodiesel – found elsewhere in the Soul and Ceed – to a 39bhp electric motor. Replacing the Sorento’s 2.5-litre CRDi engine for the smaller 1.6 unit saved 100kg, and a trick two-stage turbocharger has taken peak output to 161bhp. Kia’s first dual-clutch transmission also helps speed progress, and the Sorento’s drag co-efficient has been reduced by some slippery under-floor modifications, lowered suspension (by 25 mm), narrower tyres and an active front grille.
Kia’s hybrids seem to make sense then, but are they considerably greener?
Kia calculates that the new Ceed hybrid emits 96g/km CO2 – down 25 per cent on the 1.6-litre petrol-only equivalent – and the Sorento hybrid manages just 119 g/km of CO2, 30% down on the current 2.5 CRDi.
Alright, enough of the green stuff already, what about the Kia Venga?
From launch the Kia Venga will be available with a choice of three trim levels (LX, EX and TX) and 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre versions of Kia’s petrol and diesel engines, delivering between 75 and 128bhp. Fitted with optional ISG start/stop technology – an option on all Venga’s – Kia claim that the CO2 emissions of just 117g/km of CO2 for the 1.4-litre diesel models.
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