Updated Rio and redesigned Sorento also on Paris show stand

Kia will be trotting out a new hybrid concept when auto show season kicks off in Paris tomorrow.

Called the Optima T-Hybrid, the mild hybrid setup combines a 1.7-litre CRDI turbo-diesel engine with a small electric motor. It also utilizes a 48 volt lead-carbon battery to power an electric turbocharger, similar to the system Audi revealed in August.

Kia states the Optima T-Hybrid can “be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, with deceleration serving to recharge the battery pack.” The choice of using lead-carbon batteries was made as they do not require active cooling like lithium-ion battery packs.

Don’t expect to see the technology hitting dealers anytime soon as Kia is still evaluating use of the system in future models with no commitments to any particular timeframe. Also, with it being diesel, chances are it will be a Europe-bound solution.

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In addition to the Optima T-Hybrid, Kia will be bringing updated and redesigned models to Paris this year.

New for 2016, Kia has dropped another round of fresh imagery of the new Sorento, along with more details about what will be found inside and under the hood.

For Europe, the Sorento will be powered by a family of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. In North America, we likely won’t get the diesel engines, instead receiving updated versions of the 2.4-litre four-cylinder and 3.3-litre V6 engines currently used for the Sorento.

Kia themselves admit the redesigned model is more an evolution of the currently available Sorento. But, with some well planned design changes, improvements to NHV, and a “step-change” in interior materials, the new model looks to best its predecessor in almost every way.

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Last but not least is the Kia Rio. The subcompact will be shown in Paris with a refreshed exterior and interior. The changes are fairly minor, with redesigned bumpers, a new interior centre stack with updated infotainment, and the addition of interior embellishments being the highlights.

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