Kia Announces Turbo Three-Cylinder Engine

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Thanks to advanced turbocharging technologies, three-cylinder engines are becoming more popular among automakers.

Kia is the latest to join the fray, announcing its 1.0 T-GDi Kappa engine, a turbocharged three-cylinder with 118 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. To help improve efficiency, the 1.0-liter engine uses a single-scroll turbo with an electrically-operated wastegate and has a relatively flat torque curve with maximum twist coming in at just 1,500 RPMs and staying consistent to 4,100 RPMs.

Getting technical, the new powerplant features laser-drilled injectors with six holes each, which are laid out in a pyramid configuration to allow a more even spread through each cylinder. There are also two thermostats in the engine, allowing the block and head to be cooled separately, with the block’s thermostat running at 221 degrees and the head’s at a cooler 190 degrees to avoid detonation.

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The Korean automaker will debut the new powerplant in its Europe-only Cee’d GT model that will be unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show next week. Though there’s no timeline on when it’ll arrive in the U.S., it is expected to find its way into numerous models including the Rio, Forte and Soul. Don’t be surprised if Hyundai also uses the powerplant in its Accent and Elantra models.

At the Geneva Motor Show, Kia will also show off a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for the Cee’d GT diesel model, the same transmission found in the Hyundai Sonata Eco in the U.S. That transmission is also heading to the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

Discuss this story at our Kia forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Smartacus Smartacus on Feb 24, 2015

    this is going to be a wonderful little engine 127lb/ft from 1500 to 4100RPM is very healthy for a 1L triple -the block running at 221 degrees with the head running 31 degrees cooler is an excellent idea.