Kia is the latest manufacturer to apply stop and start technology to its cars in order to increase fuel economy and lower emissions.
Production of the Kia cee’d ISG (Idle Stop & Go) models, delivering up to 15% fuel savings in city driving, is now underway – however right-hand-drive cars may not be available until the end of the year.
The cee’d ISG cars are the first Kia production models to benefit from the company’s stop-start system. Meanwhile Kia says it is developing hybrid, fuel cell and electric vehicles for volume production in the next decade.
Kia’s ISG system automatically switches the engine off when the car is stopped in traffic and restarts the engine instantly when the driver wishes to move again. In typical city driving conditions, with heavy traffic and constant stop-start motoring, the ISG system cuts fuel consumption and emissions by up to 15%. In everyday mixed driving over town, country and motorway routes, the officially measured fuel saving is 6% on the combined cycle.
As part of the ISG system for the cee’d, a new ‘smart’ starter motor is linked to an upgraded ECU, which monitors the car’s status at all times. When the car comes to a stop, such as at traffic lights, the ECU uses information from various other control systems around the vehicle to decide if switching the engine off is appropriate.
A new ‘smart’ high-efficiency alternator suppresses electric power demand during acceleration and recharges the car’s battery during deceleration. As a ‘fail-safe’ if the car’s battery power drops below 75% of maximum for any reason, or there is insufficient energy available for the next start-up, the system will abort its ‘Idle Stop & Go’ program.
While the car is stationary, if the clutch pedal is depressed, the engine is instantly re-started – automatically – so there is no delay in setting off as the engine re-starting process is accomplished in the time it takes the driver to select first gear.
CO2 emissions from the cee’d with ISG will start from just 137 g/km.
The new ISG-equipped Kia cee’d cars will also benefit from a new-generation, lighter weight manual gearbox which more than offsets the small extra weight of the ISG system components. Made in Europe, this new five-speed transmission weighs 5 kilos less than the previous unit and features a new selector mechanism. Gear-changing forces are reduced, reverse is synchronized with fifth gear for easier selection and the overall ‘feel’ of the transmission is significantly improved.
In Europe, Kia cee’d ISG cars will be available with a choice of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines and the three cee’d family bodystyles – five-door hatchback, five-door sporty wagon and three-door pro_cee’d.
Later during 2009, similar ISG technology will also be made available for the 1.6-litre diesel Kia cee’d and ISG technology will appear on other Kia models in 2010.