The facelifted Kia Sportage was spotted undergoing tests at the Nurburgring in Germany. While most forthcoming cars are heavily disguised, the new Kia Sportage had almost zero camouflage and we can have a good look at this popular SUV.
Picture credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Usually, prototypes are heavily disguised when they're being tested, but here is a rare exception. This is the 2019 Kia Sportage facelift, which our spy photographers snapped at the Nurburgring.
We can see that both the front and rear have been revised with chrome detailing, new-look headlights and redesigned fog lights. We're told by our photographer source that the new Sportage features an updated infotainment system too, but under the skin, the new Sportage will be the first Kia model to feature a 48V mild-hybrid diesel engine. Kia calls this EcoDynamics+ and it will combine a diesel motor, a mild-hybrid starter-generator as well as a 48-volt lithium ion battery. With a connection to the diesel engine's crankshaft, the mild-hybrid starter-generator feeds up to 10 kW of electric power. Naturally, the brakes and deceleration can be captured to recharge the battery. The electrification is said to improve efficiency by 4% on the new Euro combined cycle test. The electric motor works in a similar way the Toyota with the Auris hybrid where the electric motor helps take the load off the engine by 'helping out' during pull-away before handing back power duties over.
It's a big step forward for Kia and we're keen to see if this technology makes its way to South Africa when the facelifted Sportage eventually makes its way here during 2019.