Kia’s new K3 compact to have upgraded powertrain

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Kia’s new K3 compact to have upgraded powertrain

Kia Motors, Korea’s second-largest carmaker by sales, said Wednesday it will launch the all-new K3 compact, with a next-generation powertrain, in the domestic market next month.

The fully-revamped K3 sedan is equipped with the Smart Stream powertrain, which is composed of a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and an intelligent variable transmission (IVT). It can travel 15.2 kilometers on one liter of fuel (35.7 miles per gallon), which is a fuel economy on par with smaller city or mini cars on the road today, the company said in a statement.

The company plans to introduce the new compact in the United States, China and other markets.

The timetable for the car’s overseas launches will be available in February, a Kia spokesman said over the phone.

“The IVT has the merits of a conventional continuous variable transmission (CVT) and an automatic transmission (AT). The IVT improves fuel efficiency found in CVTs, and ‘fun’ driving characteristics found in ATs,” he said.

The spokesman said while Toyota Motor’s gasoline hybrid vehicles make use of the Atkinson cycle engine to improve fuel economy, the G1.6 multipoint fuel injection engine does not take this step.

The Atkinson cycle is ideal for hybrids because their electric motors make up for the lost low-speed output.

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