Just a few short months after debuting it in the European market, Kia announced on Tuesday that the 2023 PHEV (plug-in hybrid) variant of its revered Sportage SUV lineup will also be available for sale in America. When the Sportage PHEV arrives in the third quarter of this year, it will offer a 66.9 kW electric motor backed by a 13.8 kWh battery, in addition to its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 177 hp.
Unlike the EV6 or IONIQ5, the new Sportage PHEV is not built on Hyundai’s E-GMPT platform. Instead, it rides on the N3 chassis like the Sorento and Optima. Four-wheel drive will come as standard.
“The first Sportage PHEV to be launched in the US demonstrates that Kia is listening to our customers who are asking for electrified solutions and super-efficient powertrains, and the Sportage delivers on that promise in a sophisticated and refined package,” Sean Yoon, President and CEO, Kia America , said in a statement Tuesday. “As Kia continues to implement our Plan S strategy and pursue carbon neutrality, models like the Sportage PHEV are leading the way.”
The small stature of the Sportage’s battery means that while it can only provide enough power to propel the vehicle for around 32 miles on electricity alone, it can be recharged much faster than a full EV. Kia estimates that the 13.8 kWh battery will only require about two hours to fully fill using a Level 2 charger. The vehicle’s regenerative braking system should help keep its cells fueled, though the company has yet to disclose. the EPA’s mileage or range estimates (but expect them to drop as we get closer to the Sportage’s actual on-sale date).
The exterior of the PHEV version will look a lot like its HEV and ICE counterparts, and its interior will feature all the same bells and whistles that consumers have come to expect from modern hybrid vehicles. The Sportage will offer a host of driver assistance systems like the one we saw recently on the EV6, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster – and equal-sized central infotainment system – as well as 4G Wi-Fi for up to 5 devices, Stolen vehicle tracking, OTA map updates and access to the Kia Connect mobile app.
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