No, that’s not a typo. Kia Australia is lastly bringing the Sportage Hybrid (or HEV) to Australia, and it’s prone to arrive early subsequent 12 months.
Talking with CarExpert, Kia’s native boss for product planning, Roland Rivero, confirmed manufacturing of native fashions will begin in South Korea throughout the fourth quarter of 2023 forward of a gross sales launch early in 2024.
That timeline aligns with Kia’s typical sample of introducing new fashions on the Australian Open tennis grand slam, of which the Korean model is the official accomplice and lately prolonged its contract till 2028.
After a stellar 12 months that noticed it end third general within the producer gross sales race, Kia will lastly have a rival to the top-selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and at last supply an electrified possibility for its widespread mid-sized crossover.
2022 noticed the new-gen Sportage return 18,792 registrations, inserting it fourth within the phase behind the Toyota RAV4 (34,845 models), Mazda CX-5 (27,062 models) and Mitsubishi Outlander (19,546 models).
Each the RAV4 and Outlander supply an electrified possibility, and the RAV4 Hybrid accounts for the overwhelming majority of orders for Toyota’s mid-sized SUV.
Energy within the Sportage HEV comes from the identical 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid system because the bigger Sorento HEV, which mixes a 132kW/265Nm four-cylinder petrol engine with a 44kW/264Nm electrical motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.
System outputs are quoted at 169kW and 350Nm, which might make the Sportage one of many extra highly effective autos within the phase, interval. The RAV4 Hybrid provides 160kW-163kW (however doesn’t quote system torque), whereas the Subaru Forester Hybrid solely generates 110kW and 196Nm.
In abroad markets the Sportage Hybrid will be had in each FWD and AWD variations, with all variants that includes a six-speed computerized transmission as customary. The US mannequin, which shares the identical lengthy physique as Aussie variants, quotes as much as 43mpg on the mixed cycle, which converts to 5.47L per 100km utilizing native metrics.
The North American arm additionally claims the Sportage Hybrid can obtain over 500mi (804km) between fills of its 52-litre tank, which is bordering on diesel-like vary.
Mr Rivero added that offer for the Sportage Hybrid will likely be higher than what we’ve seen for the Sorento HEV, and that the native division is trying into providing a couple of variant. CarExpert expects a top-spec GT-Line to be supplied primarily based on earlier type, in addition to a low- or mid-spec grade consistent with the present S or SX specs.
Kia was lately compelled to shut native order books of the bigger Sorento Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid as a result of a rising log of backorders and crippled provide of electrified variants – which had been maxing out at 20 HEVs and 10 PHEVs per thirty days. It’s an identical story for the smaller Niro HEV, of which Kia will get about 50 models per thirty days.
The provision state of affairs will possible decide the breadth of variants the native arm provides, and pricing is anticipated to comply with the construction of the bigger Sorento Hybrid.
At the moment, the Sorento HEV FWD and AWD demand a $4700 premium over the equal GT-Line V6 FWD and Diesel AWD variations respectively. Given the extra value delicate phase the Sportage competes in, we’re anticipating an identical $4000-4500 premium for the Sportage HEV – Kia has acknowledged beforehand that this facet is important.
By comparability, Toyota costs round $2500 extra for the 2WD Hybrid over the equal 2WD petrol, with the E-4 AWD model including an extra $3000. The Subaru Forester Hybrid is $3000 dearer than the equal 2.5i AWD petrol in Australia.
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