MOTORING: New Sorento to earn its stripes in Geneva
CATCHING my eye this week is the first official images from Kia Motors of their all-new Sorento model, ahead of its first public appearance at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show on March 3.
The concept of ‘refined boldness’ inspired Kia’s designers, who sought to maintain the robust, tough-looking aesthetic of earlier generations of Sorento, while applying a greater degree of refinement and elegance. More stylish than ever, the Sorento’s redefined design incorporates sharper lines and uninterrupted surfaces, making it noticeably more sculpted than its more round-edged predecessor.
The assertive ‘face’ of the Sorento evolves, too, with a new interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille. Wider and more expansive, it wraps organically around the integrated headlamps on each side. The headlamps themselves feature a new ‘tiger eye’ LED daytime running light.
The latest Sorento will be the first SUV to be based on Kia’s new platform when production commences later this year.
When the first-generation Sorento was launched in 2002, it was underpinned by a robust body-on-frame chassis, maximising space and all-road ability. The shift to a monocoque structure for the second-generation Sorento in 2009 marked a step change in the car’s on-road character and behaviour. Kia’s new midsize SUV platform represents a similarly important leap forward for the next-generation Sorento, allowing the car to set new standards in its segment for space, practicality, efficiency and quality.
For Korea, Europe and North America, the structure and layout of the platform accommodates the Sorento’s potent new ‘Smartstream’ turbo hybrid powertrain. Representing the first application of electrified power in the Sorento line-up, the new powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, 44.2kW electric motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The engine and motor produce a combined total output of 230ps power, providing low emissions with high levels of performance from the new electrified powertrain.
European customers can also specify the Sorento’s new four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine, producing 202ps and paired with Kia’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT), developed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic while enhancing efficiency over dry clutch DCTs.
Additional powertrains will be announced in future, including a powerful new plug-in hybrid variant.
The Sorento sits at the heart of Kia’s reinvigorated global SUV line-up.
The new Sorento’s UK specification, pricing and on-sale date will be announced in due course.