Chery here in the country is currently enjoying sales of its plug-in hybrid SUV, Tiggo 8 Pro as they are selling like hotcakes. Amid steep fuel prices these days, this PHEV SUV from China is obviously the best option for practical drivers out there. Personally, I’m amazed at how this vehicle is currently flourishing. I’ve been behind the wheel of the vehicle; and it really is a wunderkind. No doubt, hats off to the marketing people behind the local distributors here.
With this, I was just thinking, what if other companies also follow suit?
Recently, I was just browsing the net and chanced upon another PHEV SUV. It was from another brand, the Korean carmaker, Kia.
With the global automotive direction heading toward a greener environment, carmakers the world over are — inevitably — going electric. For the Korean carmaker, its Kia Sorento PHEV is its champion in this category — well, aside from its electrified Sportage and Niro, of course.
Currently, the Sorento PHEV is available in their American and Canadian markets.
Also, I learned that it features the following: 19-inch machine-finished alloy wheels with full-size spare; 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster; 10.25-inch infotainment screen; blind-spot view monitor; shift-by-wire knob; quilted Nappa leather-appointed seats; interior mood lighting; BOSE 12-speaker premium sound system; eight-inch head-up display; 360-degree camera view; Smart remote engine start; parking collision avoidance assist; a panoramic sunroof; fast wireless smartphone charger; heated first and second row; ventilated first row seats; 14-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory; 10-way power adjustable passenger seat; rear occupant alert; sunshade blinds; driver talk in-car intercom.
The PHEV is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electric motor between the internal combustion engine and gearbox — producing a combined 195kW and 304Nm. Sending power to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, the electric motor alone can produce up to 304Nm of torque — while its 14kWh lithium-ion battery allows it to achieve an electric-only driving range of up to 68km.
To top these all off, it has a fuel efficiency of 1.6L/100km. Amazing — truly.
Now, imagine Kia’s local arm bringing this prodigy here. In fact, during its recent event held at its dealership in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, it was announced that the Korean carmaker is mulling vehicle electrification here. Does this include the Kia Sorento PHEV? That we have yet to see.
If ever Kia brings it here — now — this segment would be more exciting to see. In fact, together with other premium brands offering plug-in vehicles, as well, I could already picture this segment clearly in my head.
“Battle of the plug-ins” could be one electrifying banner story.
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