The 2011 Kia Sportage first wowed us with its new baby-Sorento styling last month at its international debut in Geneva, but now that it's turned up in New York for its U.S. debut, we've learned a few more facts about the new model.
As you may already know, the new Sportage is even more pavement-biased than the outgoing model. Altogether, the new unibody is longer, wider and lower than the old model. What's more, even its all-wheel-drive system is heavily biased towards the front wheels, transferring only "a percentage" of the power on tap to the rear wheels to combat slippery surfaces. In the hairiest of situations, drivers can opt to lock the center differential and send 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels, though only to 25 mph. Additional off-road themed features include both hill start and hill descent assist systems designed to keep you in control in all situations.
Providing the power are two engine options, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 176 horsepower that will be available at launch and a new 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder that will launch a few months down the road. Power numbers for that engine haven't been announced yet, though they do say it will be more powerful, so it's probably a version of the new Theta II engine that's begun making its way around the Hyundai/Kia lineups. There's also no mention of the old 2.7-liter V-6, so it appears to be dead as it's less powerful than even the base four-cylinder.
The new four-bangers will put their power down through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, either to the front wheels only or to all four through its aforementioned AWD system. Connecting the power to the ground are new wheels offered in sizes ranging from 16 inches to 18 inches. A MacPherson Strut design holds the front wheels down while the rear end gets a new multi-link design.