Kia Motors Corporation has revealed details of the next-generation Sorento’s new platform and powertrains today. The latest Sorento will be the first SUV to be based on Kia’s new platform when production commences later this year. With a compact engine bay structure, shorter overhangs and a longer wheelbase, the platform “supports the car’s stylish new design and on-road posture, as well as its comfortable ride and satisfying handling traits”. The overall length has been extended by 10mm more than its predecessor, while the wheelbase is up 35mm to 2,815mm.
When the first-generation Sorento was launched in 2002, it was underpinned by a body-on-frame chassis, maximising space and all-road ability. Kia says that the shift to a monocoque structure for the second-generation Sorento in 2009 marked a step change in the car’s on-road character and behaviour. The company says that its new midsize SUV platform represents a similarly important leap forward for the next-generation Sorento, allowing the car to set new standards in its segment for space, practicality, efficiency and quality.
For Korea, Europe and North America, the structure and layout of the platform accommodates the Sorento’s new ‘Smartstream’ turbo hybrid powertrain. Representing the first application of electrified power in the Sorento line-up, the new powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, 44.2kW electric motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The engine and motor produce a combined total output of 227 bhp power and 258 ft lb torque, providing low emissions with high levels of performance from the new electrified powertrain. The packaging of the new platform means the battery pack can be located beneath the passenger cell, with no impact on cabin or luggage space.
Korean and European customers can also specify the Sorento’s new four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine, producing 199 bhp and 324 ft lb torque. This is paired with Kia’s new 8-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT), intended to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic while enhancing efficiency over dry clutch DCTs.
Additional powertrains will be announced in future, including a powerful new plug-in hybrid variant.
In addition to its new platform and powertrains, the Sorento implements a range of high-tech safety and convenience features. This includes Kia’s first Multi-collision Brake system, which enables the Sorento to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. It automatically applies vehicle brakes when the airbags have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts. The Multi-collision Brake system will be available depending on market with a total of eight airbags to further enhance collision safety, including front seat centre side airbags and knee airbags.
Designed and engineered to take on everything life can throw at it, the new Sorento will make its debut on March 3 at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show. UK specification, pricing and on-sale date for the All-New Sorento will be announced in due course.