Kia Debuts 40 MPG 2011 Optima Hybrid

Kia is showcasing at the Los Angeles Auto Show a hybrid car we first saw it displaying back in April. The all-new 2011 Optima Hybrid reportedly will get an estimated 40 MPG when driving on the highway and will be capable of driving at speeds up to 62 miles per hour when in electric mode only.

Kia said the 2011 Optima Hybrid uses a full parallel hybrid system that marries a 30 kiowatt battery pack; a permanent magnet synchronous electric traction motor that produces 40.2 horsepower (30 kilowatt) and 151.2 pound-feet of torque when electric only, and 206.2 horsepower and 195.4 pound-feet of torque when in hybrid mode; and a 2.4-liter Theta II engine.

All images in this gallery via Kia

Kia seemed rather proud of the innovations it believes it has accomplished with its hybrid car design. These include a lithium-polymer battery said to hold its charge up to 25 percent longer than hybrids with nickel metal hydride batteries; a a Transmission-Mounted-Electric-Drive (TMED) layout that includes more efficient powertrain packaging; a typical step-ratio automatic transmission; and an 8.5 kilowatt starter motor-generator that does not provide any tractive effort to the vehicle, but is used only to start the engine and then to charge the hybrid battery.

Other features of note on the 2011 Optima Hybrid include an electronically controlled brake system that determines the driver’s braking needs based on the degree of pedal application, an electrically-driven air conditioning compressor that allows for climate control to be maintained even when the engine is off and six airbags.

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I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • JRup

      Very nice! Any price information? Optima is a welcome competitor for Prius and Honda – hopefully Fordnand Chevy will bring their prices down so that ‘we who need it most’ can afford them.