Monthly Archives: February 2015

Kia’s new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission cuts emissions, improves performance

Kia 7 DCT

  • Kia launches its first seven-speed DCT in new cee’d GT Line models
  • Developed in-house at Kia’s Namyang R&D centre
  • Innovative hollow double-gear input shaft minimises loss of torque
  • Improved fuel economy and more decisive acceleration
  • New DCT will appear on other Kia models in the future

Kia has announced application of the all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) to a production model for the first time, the new Kia cee’d GT Line – which makes its global debut at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015.

Production debut – the new Kia cee’d GT Line

The new DCT will be paired with the cee’d GT Line’s 133 ps 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine. Capable of handling larger torque outputs than Kia’s existing six-speed torque converter automatic (up to 300 Nm), the DCT’s fast-shifting nature is ideally suited to the new cee’d GT Line’s sporty image.

Drivers will benefit from faster gear changes than a traditional torque converter automatic transmission, as well as lower running costs. It is anticipated that the new DCT will offer lower emissions and higher fuel economy, pending European homologation tests later in 2015. It will be made available on a wider range of Kia models in the future.

Developed in-house for greater fuel economy and acceleration

The new transmission is the first of its type from the brand, and has been developed in-house by Kia’s research and development teams at its Namyang, Korea R&D centre. More fuel efficient than Kia’s existing six-speed automatic transmission, the new DCT has been engineered with low fuel consumption and a sporty driving feel when in manual mode, and with comfort and smoothness when left in automatic mode.

Throughout its development, Kia’s R&D teams targeted a three to five per cent improvement in acceleration (0 to 100 kph) and five to seven per cent improvement to fuel efficiency, depending on model.

Innovative hollow double-gear input shaft allows quick shifts

The DCT is made up of two dry clutches, each fitted with electric motor-driven clutch actuator to improve responsiveness, and an innovative hollow double-gear input shaft. The hollow shaft itself allows the system to quickly engage even gears, while a solid shaft that runs through the middle operates odd gears. This crossed gear shifting enables continuous power delivery and more efficient packaging, two development cornerstones for the engineering teams behind the project.

The hollow shaft mechanism lets the DCT operate sequentially, the car anticipating the next gear that the driver is likely to need next under acceleration or braking, or jump immediately to any of its seven forward gears (and reverse). This is particularly useful under kickdown or heavy braking, allowing the driver to remain in control of the vehicle at all times.

The continuous power delivery of the DCT minimises the loss of torque and forward motion by the powertrain during gear shifts, resulting in more decisive acceleration and a smoother drive. This contributes towards the transmission’s boost to performance in all road conditions in its first application in the cee’d GT Line.

Combined with an increase in power from 128 to 133 ps, the DCT’s seven gears allow the GT Line’s diesel engine to operate at its most efficient speeds at all times. With the engine’s torque increased from 265 to 285 Nm, the new DCT is engineered to effectively manage outputs of up to 300 Nm, achieving a better balance between the engine’s improved, more effortless performance and potential for greater fuel economy.

Reduction of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has also been a focus for the team behind the DCT’s development, with an external damper ensuring a higher level of refinement for the new transmission.

After the cee’d GT Line, which will go on sale across Europe in Q4 2015, the new seven-speed DCT will be made available on a range of other Kia models.

World production premiere for Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder ‘Kappa’ engine

Kia Kappa T-GDI 1.0

  • World premiere for Kia’s new downsized 1.0-litre T-GDI engine
  • Developed in-house at Kia’s Namyang R&D centre
  • Newly-developed laser-drilled injectors enable more efficient combustion
  • Single-scroll turbocharger with electric scavenging system
  • Innovative dual-thermostat cooling for cylinder heads and engine block

Kia’s all-new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) ‘Kappa’ engine will make its world production debut at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015. Previewed by Kia in a special powertrain technology exhibition at Geneva in 2013, the new downsized engine is now fitted in a production model for the first time – the new Kia cee’d GT Line.

Kia’s new T-GDI Kappa engine embraces the industry trend towards smaller capacity, higher efficiency units which consume less fuel and emit fewer emissions – while still delivering responsive performance.

World production debut – the new Kia cee’d GT Line

The first car to benefit from Kia’s new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine will be the new cee’d GT Line range. In this application, the new Kappa engine will develop 120 ps and 172 Nm torque, and has been engineered to deliver lower CO2 emissions than the 1.6-litre GDI engine found in other cee’d models, pending homologation closer to the GT Line’s launch later in the year.

After the cee’d GT Line, which goes on sale across Europe in Q4 2015, the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine will be made available on a range of other Kia models in future.

Fulfilling a sustainable engine downsizing strategy

The new power unit is the first of Kia’s upcoming range of downsized engines to make its debut in Europe, and has been developed in-house by Kia’s powertrain development team at its Namyang, Korea R&D centre.

Engineers’ key aims throughout development were to provide immediate engine response, highly-efficient combustion and access to maximum torque from low engine speeds. These represent the cornerstones of Kia’s wider strategy to develop downsized engines for its global model line-up.

Throughout the T-GDI’s development, Kia’s R&D teams have aimed for a 10 to 15 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the brand’s current 1.6-litre GDI engine.

More efficient combustion with high pressure fuel injection and improved air flow

The new downsized engine features a newly-developed laser-drilled injector, with six individual holes. Instead of consistently injecting the fuel-air mixture onto certain points within the combustion chamber, the laser-drilled holes, laid out in a pyramid shape, provide a more even spread of fuel and air throughout the cylinder. Backed by a high pressure pump, the new laser-drilled injectors are able to provide fuel injection pressure of up to 200 bar.

The adoption of a straight air intake port – instead of the gently curved port in Kia’s existing 1.6-litre GDI engine – further improves air flow to the combustion chamber for improved fuel efficiency. The straight air intake port ends in a sharper air intake throat, reducing air resistance at all stages of air intake to the engine, improving cylinder tumble flow for faster, more efficient combustion and suppressing engine knocking.

Single-scroll turbocharger with efficient electric scavenging motor

The T-GDI’s single-scroll turbocharger is paired with an electric waste-gate motor, which improves the turbocharger’s performance with a highly efficient air scavenging strategy. As well as scavenging clean air for the engine to re-use for combustion, it is able to open the waste-gate at the same time to improve waste air flow.

This innovative system allows for greater low-end torque, more immediate engine response from any throttle position, and improved fuel economy under higher engine loads. In the Kia cee’d GT Line, the engine’s maximum 172 Nm torque is available across a wide 1,500-4,100 rpm range, with maximum power arriving at 6,000 rpm.

Lower exhaust gas temperatures and split cooling

The engine is also fitted with an integrated exhaust manifold, which lowers the exhaust gas temperature slightly. As well as improving high speed, high load fuel economy, lower temperatures also result in cleaner emissions by allowing the catalytic converter to operate more effectively.

The engine’s temperature is closely regulated with the adoption of a new dual-thermostat split cooling system. This allows the engine block and cylinder heads to be cooled independent of one another, the main thermostat controlling the flow of engine coolant to cylinder heads above 88°C to reduce knocking, and an engine block thermostat shutting off coolant flow above 105°C to reduce mechanical friction and aid efficiency.

Kia to bring electric all-wheel drive Trail’ster to Chicago

Kia Electric Car

Aligning form and function to conceive a uniquely compelling vehicle for the city-dweller-turned- outdoor-adventurer, Kia Motors America will take the wraps off the rugged Trail’ster e-AWD concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. With its bold design, fully retractable canvas roof and smartly integrated rear electric all-wheel drive system, the turbocharged Trail’ster takes Kia’s iconic Soul to a new level of expression, efficiency and capability.

The Kia Trail’ster concept will be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, February 12, at 9 a.m. CT.

Prestigious design award for new Kia Sorento

sorento if design

  • ‘iF Design Award’ for third-generation Kia Sorento
  • All-new Sorento on sale globally in Q1 2015

Kia Motors continues to reel in awards for its outstanding design. Now the Kia Sorento, the brand’s flagship SUV, has received the prestigious ‘iF Design Award’ for the first time.

The jury of the globally-recognized design awards program honored the third generation of the Sorento, which goes on sale globally in Q1 2015, with an award in the ‘Product’ category. As well as awarding the car for the overall quality of its design, the jury rated the car on criteria such as finish, degree of innovation, environmental impact and safety.

The all-new Kia Sorento is the seventh Kia model to secure an iF Design Award. In every year since 2010, at least one of the coveted awards has been scooped by Kia Motors, with previous winners from the brand including the Kia Venga, Sportage, Optima, Picanto, pro_cee’d and Soul.

“I am very proud of this award for the Kia Sorento because it is recognition of the great advance in quality we have succeeded in achieving in this model,” said Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company.

“The Kia Sorento unites the classic poise of an SUV with a premium look and feel that is particularly tangible in the cabin. It offers the very highest design quality and excellent value for money. This is largely the achievement of our international design teams – which is also why I am so delighted with this award.”

The new Kia Sorento was developed by the Kia design team in Namyang, Korean, assisted by the Kia Design Centers in Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California.

Great versatility, high-tech features and new all-wheel-drive system

The new Kia Sorento is a stylish and practical SUV with exceptional versatility and practicality. The smoother, swept-back profile and deeply sculpted surfaces give the Kia Sorento a lithe, elegant appearance. The spacious interior follows the horizontal lines of the overall design concept and delivers a luxurious look and feel with top-quality materials throughout the cabin.

The new Kia Sorento, which is available with five or seven seats, has a longer wheelbase and provides more passenger room than its predecessor. The luggage area is larger, and thanks to the sliding, 60:40-split seat row it is even more versatile, holding up to 1,732 litres.

The Kia Sorento has a powerful and efficient 200 ps (147 kW) 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, while four-wheel drive versions are fitted with Kia’s new Dynamax™ All-Wheel-Drive system with torque vectoring.

High-tech specifications and a range of premium features, including the 360-degree Around View Monitor and smart parking system make it easy to maneuver and park. Buyers can also choose from the latest safety assistance systems, from lane departure warning to rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, through to adaptive cruise control.

The iF product design award

Since it was launched in 1953, the annual iF Design Award has become one of the world’s most important prizes for excellence in design. The award has its origins in the ‘Formgerechte Industrieerzeugnisse’ (Good Industrial Design) product shows initiated by the Hannover Messe, and is now one of the world’s largest design competitions.

The iF Design Award is presented in five disciplines. In 2015, companies from 53 countries participated in the iF design awards programme, submitting 4,783 designs. The new Kia Sorento was honored in the ‘Automobiles / Vehicles / Bikes’ category.

The official presentation ceremony for the 2015 iF Design Awards will take place on 27 February 2015 in Munich, during the Munich Creative Business Week. A selection of the winning products will also go on display at the iF design exhibition in Hamburg’s HafenCity. Additionally, all winners can be seen on the iF website, www.ifdesign.de, and can also be viewed on the ‘iF design’ smartphone app.