Kia Motors global sales rise by 3.0 percent in March

kia plant

  • Kia records year-on-year sales growth in China (11.3%), Korea (8.5%) and North America (7.9%) in March
  • Kia’s best-selling car in overseas markets in March is the Rio (K2) B-segment sedan

Kia Motors Corporation announced today its March 2015 global sales figures (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants) for passenger cars, recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles, recording a total of 269,749 units sold. This figure represents 3.0% year-on-year growth compared to the same month of 2014.

In March, Kia posted year-on-year sales increases in China (11.3% growth with 61,431 units sold), the domestic Korean market (8.5% growth with 42,305 units sold) and North America (7.9% growth with 65,426 units sold).

Cumulatively through the first three months of 2015, Kia’s global sales totalled 690,775 units for a year-on-year increase of 0.5%. Korea (114,512 units sold), North America (155,659 units sold) and China (166,641 units sold) have seen a 6.0%, 5.8% and 2.0% rise in sales, respectively.

Kia’s bestselling model in overseas markets in March 2015 was the B-segment Rio (known as ‘K2’ in China) with 39,934 units sold. The Sportage compact CUV was the second best seller with 38,165 units sold, while the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Forte’ or ‘K3’ in some markets), Optima D-segment sedan and mid-size Sorento CUV followed with 35,698, 22,479 and 19,060 units sold, respectively.

KIA MOTORS NIGERIA APPOINTS CLASS MOTORS AS ITS DEALER IN WARRI, DELTA

Class Motors

Class Motors, Warri, Delta State

Kia Motors Nigeria, the fastest growing automobile company in Nigeria, offering the public the very best in cutting edge automotive technology, has announced a new partnership with Class Motors Limited. To further expand its market reach and ease of access to teeming customers in the country, this dealership agreement will facilitate bringing KIA closer to the people in Warri and its environs.

In addition to bringing to the foray, vehicles that deliver best-in-class features and affordable price for value, the vision of KIA is to bring its world class facilities closer to its customers and manufacture vehicles that meet their dreams and aspirations.

KIA has continued to keep pace with consumers’ evolving wants and needs in order to remain competitive. The shifting consumer interests and the need to meet their expectations with exceptional service delivery has propelled Kia Motors Nigeria to extend its reach by signing a new dealership agreement with Class Motors Limited to continue to offer cutting edge automobile technology in the country.

Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Sanjay Tatpati, Assistant Vice President, Kia Motors Nigeria, said, “This joint venture with Class Motors is an important step in our expansion plans for the Nigerian market. Finding the right partners to work with in satisfying our customers is very vital to us. We are delighted to work with the experienced team of Class Motors and are confident that our customers and automobile enthusiasts will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this relationship.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Ben Edoja, MD, Class Motors Limited, said, “Our relationship with Kia Motors Nigeria is in furtherance of our corporate mission to provide customers with quality vehicles and services. We constantly seek ways to exceed our customers’ expectations and we believe this partnership will give us the opportunity to do just that.” He further quoted that the new Kia franchisee will offer full range of Kia vehicles, from the Kia Picanto to the Kia Quoris, wherein the customers will have ease of access and buy their preferred Kia cars.

It is indeed a significant step forward for KIA who has seen substantial growth over the years, making KIA vehicles available to a wider marketplace. The new dealership with Class Motors will facilitate Kia Motors Nigeria meet the objective of providing world class service that is second to none in the Nigerian auto industry.

Seoul world premiere for fastback Kia Novo concept car

kia novo

  • Modern, coupé-inspired design for Kia’s latest concept
  • Minimalist interior design with high-tech features
  • Powered by 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT
  • Hints at the design direction for Kia’s next-generation compact cars

Kia Motors unveiled its latest concept car – the Kia Novo – today at the Seoul Motor Show 2015. Featuring bold, coupé-inspired styling and a minimalist, driver-focused cabin, the Kia Novo hints at the design direction for the brand’s next-generation compact vehicles.

‘Novo’ – refreshing, rejuvenating, innovating

Taking its name from the Latin ‘novatus’ (meaning renewed or refreshed), the Kia Novo concept is aimed at modern urbanites with stressful jobs and frantic schedules. Interpreted by Kia’s designers, the name ‘Novo’ represents the concept of making something new and fresh. The Novo establishes a calming, focused environment in which drivers can refresh and rejuvenate as they transition from one life commitment to the next.

Fittingly, ‘novatus’ also provides the origin of the English word, ‘innovation’, which the Novo concept brings to life with thoroughly innovative styling and high-tech interior features. The Kia Novo takes inspiration from classic, traditional craftsmanship and vehicle design, and reinterprets it for the 21st Century using modern materials and cutting-edge production techniques to create a sharp, dynamic body over a state-of-the-art powertrain.

Dramatic coupé-inspired exterior design

Designed at Kia’s state-of-the-art Namyang design center in Korea, and based on a specially-adapted version of the Cerato (Forte) platform, the Novo bears a coupé-inspired silhouette and unmistakeable Kia styling. The Novo’s minimal front overhangs, longer rear overhangs and fastback roofline, as well as a slim, long glass area, give it a raked, sporty profile.

The smooth, geometric design of the car’s shape is blended with a series of sharp, decisive lines and forms around the body. The front of the Novo sports the latest interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille, now wider and more deeply embedded, and slim new laser headlamps. Low, wide air intakes house additional laser headlamps, which frame the Novo’s bold face, emphasize its low, wide stance and give the car a unique light signature.

The large front wheel arches lead directly into a strong, consistent shoulder line to meet the rear laser lamps, whose shape echoes those of the front for an identical light signature. The rear of the car uses prominent lines and low triangular exhausts to add greater width and volume to its shape and emphasize the car’s sportiness and on-road stability. Crisp lines surrounding the rear of the car ensure a high aerodynamic efficiency.

The Novo’s sharply creased bodywork gives the car a clean, modern appearance when viewed from the side, with strong lines on the doors, skirts and aluminum wing vents. Rear-hinged doors complete the car’s striking profile appearance, with slim, central pop-out door handles running level to the finely-sculpted aluminum door mirrors. The Novo’s diamond-cut alloy wheels feature a similarly sharp design, made up of straight edges and two-tone carbon and silver finish. Completing the Novo’s thoroughly contemporary look are an aluminum rear roof line and two-tone silver and green paint finish.

Driver-oriented interior with minimalist design forms

Designed as a sanctuary from the frenzied outside world, the Kia Novo’s cabin is a relaxing space in which to temporarily escape the stresses and strains of modern life. Focused solely on the driver, the minimalist interior provides few distractions from the task of driving, while all occupants benefit from plenty of space, a result of the car’s long body and intelligent packaging.

The long, wide dashboard, whose sharp lines are embellished with the use of leather, stitching and aluminum highlights, is angled towards the driver. The instrument binnacle shows relevant information through a compact three-dimensional hologram display, while a ‘blind control’ touch pad next to the steering wheel allows drivers to control the car’s many functions without having to take their eyes off the road ahead. The touch pad incorporates a fingerprint scanner, which automatically sets up elements of the car according to the driver’s preferences, such as music selection, audio volume and the type of information displayed. A wide touchscreen in the center of the dash provides the car’s full range of functionality to occupants.

As well as the neat, simple design forms that make up the dashboard and center console, the interior’s four individual dark brown leather sports seats add to the minimalist ambience of the cabin, each made up of simple linear shapes and featuring built-in inertia reel seatbelts to minimize ‘cabin clutter’.

1.6-liter T-GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT

The Novo is powered by the latest high-tech production Kia powertrain to match its dynamic looks. A 1.6-liter ‘Kappa’ turbo gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) engine has been paired with the brand’s seven speed DCT to power the front wheels. The result is decisive, sporty performance and impressive fuel economy for Kia’s latest show star.

The Kia Novo concept is fitted with innovative new ‘adaptive concave profile’ tires, with a sunken middle section between two contact points serving to cool the rubber and channel excess road water away from the wheels for greater grip. The unique 20-inch tires feature two slim contact points on the outer edges to provide lower rolling resistance and reduce road noise, while contributing to provide a high level of grip under cornering.

There are currently no plans to bring the Kia Novo concept to production, though Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to concept vehicles that precede them. The Kia Novo concept provides a glimpse into Kia’s plans for its future compact car line-up.

All-new 2016 Optima midsize sedan makes global debut at the New York International Auto Show

optima

  • Kia’s best-selling nameplate in US is passionately designed and obsessively crafted with European styling, a refined premium interior and significant ride and handling improvements
  • Optima matures into an expertly crafted sedan with two turbo engine choices and five trims, including the U.S.-exclusive SXL
  • Built at Kia’s U.S. plant*, Optima features reduced NVH and a more responsive, confident ride

Five years ago Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the re-designed Optima at the New York International Auto Show and introduced a game-changing midsize sedan that catalyzed the brand’s design-led transformation. History was repeated when the all-new 2016 Optima, a symbol of the Kia brand’s maturation through continuous refinement and obsessive attention to detail, made its debut here today. An instant hit with consumers looking for a fresh alternative to an otherwise staid segment, the Optima has been KMA’s top-selling vehicle for three consecutive years, and the all-new model is poised to continue that success.

Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL – when sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima will be built at Kia’s plant* in West Point, Georgia. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA.

“The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.”

Instantly Recognizable European Design

Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, revealing a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever.

The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.0 inch). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk.

The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K900. The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of bi-functional HID headlights – with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist – that illuminate the tarmac around corners.

The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan appearance. The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan.

The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors compliment the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky; a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments.

Exquisite Interior Craftsmanship

Optima’s interior is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia’s premium and luxury sedans, the Optima utilizes more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Optima’s luxurious interior is obsessively crafted with an impressive attention to detail and features real stitching along the dash and doors, complimented by tasteful metallic accents, varying by trim level.

The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia’s already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved.

The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. A stiffer seat frame reduces vibration and soft foam in the headrest, upper back and thigh-support areas allows occupants to nestle into seats with deeper side bolsters made with denser, more supportive foam. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. For added convenience, the 2016 Optima offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles. Depending on trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather or luxurious Nappa leather and two new interior colors – a rich merlot and a dark aubergine – are available.

Convenience and Technology

Kia’s cutting-edge connectivity system, UVO, comes standard with four additional eServices not previously available on Optima: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, Optima is Kia’s pilot vehicle for the introduction of AndroidTM Auto and Apple® CarPlay (late availability), which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. After connecting their smartphone to the head unit via the vehicle’s front fast-charge USB port (another fast-charge USB port is located in the rear seat), the 8-inch touchscreen screen displays the smartphone’s most important features. Core functions including music, messaging, navigation and voice calls are available via the screen, the steering wheel or via voice command2. Kia is one of the first to deliver this technology, which is available for select Android phones operating with Lollipop or Apple phones operating with iOS8.X or higher. Any future third-party apps that are added by either Android or Apple will be available for customers to enjoy from their respective app store.

While the standard six-speaker audio system will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiasts, true audiophiles will gravitate to the available Infinity® Premium Audio System, which includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi™ technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology breathes new life into your favorite music, restoring a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. Optima’s premium Infinity audio system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™7 Surround technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and detailed. Kia was one of the first automakers to incorporate Clari-Fi technology into their audio systems with the debut of the 2016 Sorento, and Optima is the first-ever Kia sedan to feature QuantumLogic Surround technology.

The all-new Optima takes convenience to the next level with a long list of available technologies across the various trim levels. Available on every Optima is a rear-camera display while SX and SXL trims offer an available 360-degree Around View Monitor8. Available driver-aid technology, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC)8, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)8, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)8 and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)8 – which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage – makes the task of driving easier and more convenient. Also available for the first time on any Kia vehicle are Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA), which recognizes oncoming traffic and automatically switches the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle has passed.

Smart Performance and Safety

The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car. The greater use of structural adhesive by more than 450 percent over the previous generation improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride.

Additional innovations were implemented to reduce NVH, lighten the vehicle and enhance aerodynamics. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia to feature a panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity. A larger full floor under cover helps reduce wind noise and aid fuel efficiency. Increased dash insulation, added windshield side molding and the increased use of structural adhesive ensure a quiet ride with reduced road and wind noise. Engine mounts, body panels and wheels all are stiffer on the all-new Optima, reducing vibrations, engine noise and road noise. Larger cross-member bushings are utilized to help isolate road and engine noise, as well as reducing engine vibration through the floor and steering wheel.

Improving ride and handling was a top priority for engineers. Overall, the chassis is lighter and stiffer, resulting in improved steering response, high-speed stability and handling. Moving the suspension location points of the front and rear sub-frames outward optimizes suspension geometry for a smoother ride over uneven pavement. Where the previous Optima made due with dual bushing mounts, increased lateral stiffness was achieved with a four-bushing mount system for both sub-frames. The increased stiffness pays dividends in improved steering response and tractability through corners. More robust wheel bearings up front and the addition of larger dual lower control arms at the rear also help refine the all-new Optima’s ride and handling characteristics. Available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response with a higher gear ratio.

The all-new Optima is available with three engine choices, striking a performance balance between sportiness and fuel efficiency. Two powerplants carry over from the previous generation, the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, available on the LX and EX models, and the 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine, available on the SXL and SX Turbo models. While the engines have yet to receive EPA certification, the 2.4-liter is estimated to produce 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbo is expected to generate approximately 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,350 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic® shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. Both engines have been retuned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM.

All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand. The transmission optimizes the engine’s responsiveness for a sporty feel that doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy. Also new for the Optima, Michelin® tires are available on all trims. All three engines channel energy through the front wheels.

New York world premiere for next-generation Kia Optima

Optima

Following its debut at the New York International Auto Show in 2010, the Kia Optima became a catalyst for the brand’s tremendous growth and has been the company’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for three years running. Now, five years later, Kia will return to New York on Wednesday, April 1 for the world debut of a passionately designed and obsessively crafted all-new version of its popular midsize sedan.

Kia Motors Nigeria Sponsors St Saviours School 2015 ‘Funday’, Donates KIA Rio for the Grand Raffle

Group photo at the car presentation ceremony with the winner Miss Araoluwa Edun flanked by her family and the Kia team.

Group photo at the car presentation ceremony with the winner Miss Araoluwa Edun flanked by her family and the Kia team.

Kia Motors Nigeria’s collaborative stride to boost primary educational development weaved into its organisational social responsibility has continued to wax stronger in recent times. The company’s sponsorship of the 2015 St Saviours School Funday was hinged on its relentless efforts to partner with educational institutions to further strengthen the foundational learning of the future leaders in a peacefully unified society.

For over a decade now, Kia Motors Nigeria has not only been in the vanguard of revolutionizing the automobile industry in Nigeria with affordable and best in class cars, but also keyed into human capacity development programmes aimed at enhancing the country’s future in realising her objectives.

The 2015 Funday theme was tagged ‘Embracing Differences’, the event sought to bring together all differing divides either along religious belief or cultural affinity. In a welcome address by the Head teacher, St Saviours School, at the event, he espoused on the need to create a peaceful coexistence among differing beliefs. In his speech, laying emphasis on the great importance of a conducive environment for learning, he stated that “this year’s theme of ‘Embracing Differences’ is an integral element of education in the 21st century. Increasing globalization is an essential reason we all need to develop our understanding of diversity and embrace differences.

The Chief Commercial Officer, Kia Motors Nigeria, Mr Sandeep Malhotra, stated that “our partnership with the school will bring in required awareness among communities we live in and positively impact the lives of targeted group, the kids on the need to live in harmony despite their ethnic or religious differences”. According to him, Kia will continue to provide necessary support for faster and impactful implementation of our program centred on capacity development of the younger generation in the country. “We will continue to identify and spread our projects in the area of education and development of children across the country,” he noted.

The kids at the event had a fun filled day with interesting games, entertainments, and stage performances that sure raised the tempo. The whole place went agog when the biggest moment for the grand finale raffle draw was announced. There was excitement in the air as the kids are keenly interested in who wins the Kia Rio.

After much anticipation and best wishes among the kids, the ticket belonging to a 3 year old, Miss Araoluwa Edun was picked. The parents were awed and remained astonished when they were called to come for the prize. It was a moment of joy and fulfillment for the Edun Family and Kia staying true to its slogan of ‘The Power to Surprise’ sure did surprise them with a brand new Kia Rio.

Kia Sportage ranks highest among small SUVs in 2015 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study

2015 Sportage

  • Top honor reinforces brand’s continued commitment to craftsmanship
  • Dynamic and capable crossover earns Kia’s first-ever Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) award
  • Sportage’s VDS award follows two consecutive Initial Quality Study (IQS) awards for the model in 2013 and 2014
  • J.D. Power 2015 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) has ranked the Kia Sportage as the leader in the Small SUV category, marking the first-ever VDS award in the brand’s history. The industry-wide study examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year old vehicles (2012 model year). Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). Thus, a lower score reflects a higher long-term quality level. The Sportage ranked first in a field of seven contenders with a score of 129 PP100. This latest recognition for Sportage follows the model’s two consecutive J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS) awards in 2013 and 2014.

    “We believe the results of the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study demonstrate Kia’s on-going commitment to quality and obsession with craftsmanship in building our world-class products,” said John Crowe, vice president, service & aftersale operations, Kia Motors America (KMA). “The Sportage is a clear example of how far the entire Kia model line-up has progressed, and this kind of quality is tangible evidence of our long-term strategy to enhance the Kia ownership experience.”

    VDS measures the long-term quality of vehicles, including new technologies and features currently available to buyers. It includes 32 nameplates and 228 models, covering 177 specific problem symptoms grouped into eight major vehicle categories.

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.