Kia Motors has finally revealed details of the most powerful and efficient version of its D-segment flagship SUV, the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid. In Europe, it’s the second electrified Sorento offered after the Sorento Hybrid (230 PS and 350 Nm), but with the added benefit of full electric drive.

Powering the Sorento PHEV is the same 1.6 litre turbocharged GDI engine as the Hybrid, which on its own produces 180 PS and 265 Nm of torque. This engine is augmented with a 67 kW (91 PS) electric motor that supplies 304 Nm of torque, making for a combined system output of 264 PS and 350 Nm of torque.

Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Kia says the gearbox can deploy the full power of both the engine and electric motor in parallel, resulting in “immediate acceleration response at any speeds.” The electric motor is also coated in a two-stage lamination process to improve refinement.

The 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery located under the floor is independently water-cooled (a first for Kia), ensuring optimal heat management and efficiency for the high-voltage battery pack. The automaker has yet to homologate the Sorento PHEV, so fuel economy, CO2 emissions, charging times, and full electric range have yet to be provided.

However, Kia says the Sorento PHEV doesn’t compromise on boot space, and it also retains the original seven-seat configuration. The battery has been designed to not take up boot space, so the PHEV gets 175 litres with all seven seats up compared to 179 litres for the Hybrid. Non-hybrid models get 189 litres of space, by the way.

Elsewhere, the car’s cabin remains largely unchanged, although the 12.3-inch fully digital instrument panel gets redesigned slightly with new graphics and dials. The centre 10.25-inch touchscreen display is also updated, enabling drivers to locate vehicle charging points on-the-go. Modern accoutrements here include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 12-inch Bose surround sound system, 64-colour Mood Lighting system, and Kia’s UVO Connect telematics system.

The car’s safety kit is fairly impressive, featuring Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems as standard. this includes Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian, cyclists and vehicle detection, Surround View Monitor, Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, adaptive cruise control, Highway Driving Assist, Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, and the first Multi-Collision Brake system.

Kia Motors Europe product planning and pricing chief, Pablo Martinez Masip said: “Plug-in models will continue to grow in popularity across Europe, and the new Sorento will be one of the most spacious, practical and versatile electrified models available.” Sales of the Sorento PHEV will begin in select European markets in early 2021, and they come with a seven-year or 150,000 km warranty as standard. Production is set for Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea.