Kia will be showcasing starting Thursday at the Paris Motor Show the Optima T-Hybrid concept which mixes up the 1.7-liter four-cylinder CRDi turbodiesel engine with an electric motor as well as a 48V lead-carbon battery. The concept is characterized as being a “mild hybrid” providing 15-20 percent more powerful than the regular Optima and also a “significant reduction” as far as CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are concerned. It can be driven only on electric power at low speeds and according to Kia it’s capable of capturing the energy generated during declaration and then use it to recharge the battery.
Rather than having the usual lithium-ion batteries, Kia installed a lead-carbon battery pack because this does not need active cooling and it’s also easier to recycle once depleted. The Optima T-Hybrid concept also benefits from a stop/start system and a belt-driven starter generator which aims to eliminate the noise and vibration which occur when starting the engine.
The concept has been equipped with an electric supercharger providing increased power & torque at all engine speeds, especially during low engine speeds when it provides a lot more torque.