Hyundai’s Kia brand was considered an also-ran automaker just a few years ago, but the Korean automaker has really been stepping up its efforts as of late. Kia will continue that push with a host of new technologies in the coming years, with the first showing up in European markets later this year.
Set to hit the road this spring in Europe, Kia will debut its “idle stop and go” system on the Cee’d small car. As the name implies, the stop-start technology will shutdown the Cee’d’s engine while at a standstill – much in the same way a hybrid vehicle works.
The system turns the engine off when the vehicle comes to a stop, with the engine restarting once the driver depresses the clutch to engage first gear, according to Automotive News. To off-set the weight of the start-stop system, the Cee’d will be using a new light-weight gearbox.
Although stop-start technology does nothing for highway mileage, it can offer up to a 15 percent boost in city fuel mileage. Kia expects the system to improve fuel mileage by 6 percent in mixed driving.
Kia has yet to officially announce if the new technology is U.S.-bound, but did say the “idle stop and go” technology would spread to other markets and models in 2010. With stricter CAFE regulations on the horizon, we fully expect to see the start-stop technology in Kia’s U.S. showrooms by early next decade.