The 2011 Optima Hybrid uses a full parallel hybrid system and can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 miles per hour or in blended gas-electric mode at any speed. When the car comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine shuts off to completely eliminate idle fuel consumption and emissions.
The 30 kilowatt battery pack weighs just 95.9 pounds – 28 pounds less than the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid’s nickel metal hydride pack.
The Optima Hybrid’s battery will hold its charge up to 25 percent longer than hybrids with nickel metal hydride batteries, so the battery is more likely to have usable energy available even if it has not been in use.
The Optima Hybrid uses a Transmission-Mounted-Electric-Drive layout with the electric motor separated from the transmission gear-set.
The electric motor is hard-coupled to the input of the transmission and equipped with a permanent magnet synchronous electric traction motor that produces 40.2 horsepower and 151.2 pound-feet of torque when electric only, and 206.2 horsepower and 195.4 pound-feet of torque when in hybrid mode.
The Optima Hybrid also features an electrically-driven air conditioning compressor so that climate control can be maintained even when the engine is off. Like electric power steering, the electrically-driven air conditioning compressor allows for more precise on-demand control reducing the overall load on the powertrain, cutting fuel consumption.
Kia engineers modified its popular 2.4-liter Theta II engine to operate on an Atkinson cycle, raising the compression ratio by 20 percent to maximize its efficiency and achieving a 10-percent fuel saving over a regular Theta engine. This cycle generates a little less torque, but the electric motor compensates for any loss and consequently, the Optima Hybrid’s overall power and torque outputs are greater than the regular model.
The Optima Hybrid weighs just 3,490 pounds, 230 pounds lighter than the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Not bad!
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