In an era of tightening fuel consumption rules, Kia Motors Corp. wants to show that less is more.
This week at the Geneva auto show, Kia plans to unveil the Cee'd GT, the first Kia model to use Hyundai Motor Group's new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine. Kia says the engine puts out 118 hp and 127 pounds-feet of torque despite its scant displacement, showing the new normal for small cars in Europe as stricter limits on carbon emissions from tailpipes take effect.
Though the 1.0-liter engine was designed for Europe, it could someday appear in the United States as fuel economy standards grow stricter.
Ford Motor Co. started the tiny-turbo trend in 2012 with a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine putting out 123 hp and 148 pounds-feet of torque. It arrived in the U.S. in 2014 as an option in the Fiesta subcompact. General Motors and Volkswagen AG now sell 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engines in Europe in their Opel Adam and Volkswagen Polo subcompacts.
Kia's sibling brand Hyundai announced last fall at the Paris auto show that its redesigned i20 subcompact, on sale later this year, will be offered with the same 1.0-liter engine as in the Cee'd GT.