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January 18, 2021

Kia Will Continue to Develop Gasoline, Diesel Engines in the Future

With Kia’s re-branding and Plan S mid-to-long term strategy, what does that mean for future powertrain development?

To recall, Kia’s Plan S focuses on electrification. The mid-to-long-term strategy will have the Korean automaker’s share of battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales increase to 20 percent as a proportion of total sales by 2025. In the same time frame, Kia will offer a full line-up of 11 BEVs underpinned by the new e-GMP platform.

This keen emphasis on electrification throws some doubt to the future of conventional gasoline and diesel engines at Kia. This issue is compounded more so because some carmakers have announced that they will stop the development of next-generation gasoline and diesel engines in favor of electric motors.

Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President and CEO just put those doubts to rest. “We are present in 190 counties and territories around the world. We know and understand that electrification is at various stages, so it cannot be a one-solution for all our markets. We will continue the development of internal combustion engines for the future.”

Just four years ago, the Hyundai Motor Group introduced its next-generation internal combustion engine called Smart Stream.

Smart Stream technology optimizes the existing powertrain structure, with engine components reduced in size and weight to enhance fuel efficiency. With the advanced combustion techniques of Smart Stream engines, Hyundai Motor Group aims to maximize thermal efficiency by up to 50 percent.

Among the Smart Stream technologies include the first commercial application of Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology where the opening and closing of the cylinder valve is timed to best respond to various driving modes, such as eco-driving or dynamic driving.

By the end of next year, the Smart Stream powertrain line-up will offer 10 gasoline engines, six diesels, and six transmissions including an 8-speed wet-type dual clutch automatic.

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