Kia Optima T-Hybrid: diesel concept with electric supercharger

Kia will unveil a diesel-electric mild hybrid concept at the Paris Motor Show based on the soon-to-depart current generation TF Optima.

The Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept features a 1.7-litre turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine from the regular Optima range that’s been kitted out with an electric supercharger, which helps to provide extra power and torque at low engine speeds.

This uprated diesel engine has been paired with a small electric motor that’s fed by a 48V lead-carbon battery. This part of the drivetrain acts as pumped up automatic engine start/stop system. Kia apparently chose lead-acid batteries over lithium-ion as they don’t require active cooling and are easier to recycle; no doubt cost also played an important factor.

There are no plans to push the Optima T-Hybrid or its drivetrain into production, but it “remains under consideration for new Kia models in the future”.