KIA hasrevealed a plug-in hybrid version of its flagship global SUV, the Sorento.
The new Plug-in Hybrid version sits alongside the Hybrid model, which cannot be recharged from an outside power point, unlike this latest version.
The new variant combines aturbocharged 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 Plug-in Hybrid variant of the Sorento was designed from the outset to accommodate electrified powertrains and retains the cabin and luggage space and five- and seven-seat layouts that define other models in the line-up.
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 begin in select European markets in early 2021, with Kia's unique seven-year, 100,000 miles warranty as standard. UK on-sale date, pricing and specification will be announced in due course.
The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid isn't just the lowest-emitting model in the Sorento line-up in Europe, but also the most powerful.
Its1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric produce a combined 265ps and 350Nm torque.
The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid's all-electric range will be sufficient to enable drivers to complete most short drives on electric power alone, says Kia. Its all-electric range and COemissions 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.
The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid offers space for up to five or seven passengers like its Hybrid and diesel counterparts. It also offers one of the largest cargo capacities in its class, with the larger battery pack not taking up significant amounts of boot space - up to 809 litres (for seven-seat models) or 898 litres (five-seat models) with two rows of seats in place. In seven-seat models, with all seven seats in place, boot space is 175 litres (compared to 179 litres for its Hybrid counterpart).
Inside the car, the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid offers the same level of technological innovation as other Sorento models. The touchscreen infotainment system enables full, seamless smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A powerful 12-speaker BOSE surround-sound audio system is also available as well as a cabin mood lighting system, with up to 64 colours for users to choose from.