Kia Motors has revealed the all-new Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid, an ultra-low emissions version of the brand’s flagship SUV. The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid is the second electrified model in the all-new Sorento line-up, and sits alongside the low-emissions Sorento Hybrid. The new variant combines a turbocharged petrol engine with a high capacity battery pack and high output electric motor, giving drivers the ability to complete shorter drives on all-electric, zero-emissions power.
The platform that underpins the fourth-generation Sorento was designed from the outset to accommodate electrified powertrains. Kia says that the new platform and large body ensures the Plug-in Hybrid model retains the generous cabin and luggage space and five- and seven-seat layouts that define other models in the line-up.
Pablo Martinez Masip, Director of Product Planning and Pricing at Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid completes the new fourth-generation Sorento line-up, and is one of two electrified models available to European drivers. It deploys a turbo hybrid powertrain to boost performance, while reducing the car’s environmental impact and running costs. Plug-in models continue to grow in popularity across Europe, and the new Sorento will be one of the most spacious, practical and versatile electrified models available.”
In the first half of 2020, electrified models – including mild-hybrid, hybrid, battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles – accounted for around one in four of all Kia vehicles sold in Europe, with sales accelerating year-on-year.
Sales of the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid will commence in select European markets in early 2021.
The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid isn’t just the lowest-emitting model in the Sorento line-up in Europe, but also the most powerful, incorporating a 1.6-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, which, on its own, produces up to 178 bhp and 195 ft lb torque. The engine is paired with a 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and an electric motor which produces 66.9kW and 224 ft lb torque.
Combined, these powertrain components enable the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s powertrain to produce up to 261 bhp and 258 ft lb torque.
Kia says the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s all-electric range will be sufficient to enable drivers to complete most short drives on electric power alone. Its all-electric range and CO2 emissions are pending homologation and will be confirmed by Kia closer to the car’s on-sale date. Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new model represents Kia’s first use of an independent battery pack water-cooling system in a PHEV, ensuring optimal heat management and efficiency for the high-voltage battery pack. For the 66.9 kW electric motor, the rotor benefits from a new two-stage lamination process to reduce noise and vibration levels.