The manufacturer also says that the system will have minimal impact on practicality, with the required 48V battery located beneath the boot floor.
Christened 'EcoDynamics+', the new mild-hybrid powertrain is paired with a 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery and uses a new mild-hybrid starter-generator (MHSG) unit.
Kia says that its mild-hybrid technology can provide extra acceleration for overtaking, as well as reducing engine load when the auto is being driven more gently.
According to its creators the mild-hybrid technology offers advantages over full hybrid units, particularly in the performance generated for the cost. Restarting of the engine is carried out after pressing of the accelerator pedal. The company claims thats integrating the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid system into the existing architecture "is relatively straightforward". Connected by a belt to the diesel engine's crankshaft, under acceleration the MHSG provides up to 10kW of electric power assistance to the powertrain in motor mode, reducing engine load and emissions. In generator mode, the system harvests kinetic energy from the vehicle during in-gear deceleration and braking and uses the power to recharge the batteries. Kia says that the new powertrain is the first new technology to be launched as part of the brand's wider powertrain electrification strategy.
EcoDynamics+ can be used in petrol and diesel cars with front, rear or four-wheel drive, so it could appear in any future Kia model.
With the latest version of the Ceed hatchback also using the powertrain from 2019, this is the start of Kia's plan to offer 16 electrified vehicles by 2025 - with five hybrids, five plug-ins, five all-electric models and a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in 2020.