The Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid has been confirmed and will arrive in the second half of 2016.
The Korean automaker has announced its plans to equip the new Optima range with more fuel-efficient hybrid models, including a plug-in variant with the ability to travel up to 27 miles on electric power alone. The next-generation Optima PHEV will feature a 9.8-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack that has roughly six times the energy output of what’s currently in the Optima Hybrid. Paired to a 50-kW electric motor that is 42 percent more powerful than the previous Optima hybrid, the plug-in hybrid powertrain will also feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder GDI engine with 154 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. Combined system output is expected to be around 202 hp.
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Based on internal testing conducted by Kia, the Optima PHEV is expected to deliver a 99-MPGe combined rating in the U.S. with engineers targeting a 40-mpg combined rating in charge-sustaining mode. Like other plug-in hybrid models available today, the Kia Optima PHEV will have styling changes to differentiate it from the rest of the Optima lineup. Those aesthetic changes include a charging port on the driver-side front panel, chrome side sill moldings, new wheel designs and “EcoPlug-In” badging. Inside, the model will have a distinctive instrument cluster, and a charge indicator on the top of the dash that allows drivers to easily see the state of charge from outside the vehicle.
In announcing the Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid, the Korean automaker also revealed that the upcoming new Optima Hybrid will see a boost in fuel economy by 10 percent. Kia also plans on improving average fuel efficiency of its models by 25 percent compared to 2014 by 2020.
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