Kia had an interesting powertrain concept on the floor of the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Revealed in the Optima T-Hybrid, the powertrain paired a 1.7L turbodiesel four-cylinder with a 48v electric supercharger. This worked in conjunction with a 48V starter/generator that turned it into a mild hybrid. Kia said this powertrain would cut emissions and fuel consumption for any vehicle by 15 to 20 percent. Since showing this powertrain, Kia has been hard at work on this project
But then the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal hit and it has caused many automakers, Kia included, to rethink projects involving diesel engines. Speaking with Autocar, Hyundai-Kia's performance development boss Albert Biermann said it's becoming harder to justifying the costs to develop next-generation diesel engines in light of the Volkswagen mess and stricter emission standards.
“The research project is still going on, but the cost of electric motors and batteries in a hybrid is already significant. The question is whether it is really necessary to throw in a more expensive diesel engine.”
If Kia decides to scrap the diesel part of this powertrain, their efforts will not go to waste. Biermann said this system could be re-engineered for a gas engine.