Kia Begins Full-Scale Production of First Kia Models with Stop/Start Systems

Kia Motors Corporation has begun full scale production of the six new Kia cee’d ISG (Idle Stop & Go, Kia’s label for a stop/start system) models, which offer up to 15% fuel savings in city driving, at its facility in Zilina (Slovakia), with deliveries to customers across Europe scheduled to begin during the next two months. Kia introduced the ISG system at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris in September, 2008. (Earlier post.)

Made in Europe, the C-segment cee’d ISG cars are the first Kia production models with the microhybrid system.

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 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 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 stop/start 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.

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.

Impact of the ISG system (Kia measurements, NEDC)
EngineL/100km /g CO2/km
StandardISGTotal ΔCity Δ

In Europe, Kia cee’d ISG cars will be available with a choice of 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter gasoline 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-liter diesel Kia cee’d and ISG technology appear on other Kia models in 2010 and beyond in numerous markets outside of Europe as well.

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