From Paris to Monaco in a Kia Sportage and visit to the Salon EVER
The EVER Fair has just unveiled its new “renewable energies and sustainable mobility” products in the Principality of Monaco, as it does every year. To get there, we took a partly off-highway road trip, departing from Paris. For this, we have chosen to use the new Kia Sportage hybrid, which has allowed us to mix automotive modernity and regional authenticity.
Long journeys in an electrified vehicle sometimes raise some concerns in terms of range and charging time. Motorists who drive a lot generally prefer the services of a purely thermal car, or even a hybrid, rechargeable or not. It was also our choice by turning to an HEV version, equipped with a small 1.49 kWh battery which still allows some savings on unleaded depending on road conditions. Above 120 km/h the hybrid system does not bring any gain (this is true for all cars), whereas on secondary roads or in urban areas, when regeneration is more often active, fuel savings become palpable.
Departure: Paris 15th
We have an appointment at a Kia dealership to take possession of “our” Sportage. The grip is simple, even if the rotary knob which serves as a gearbox control is a novelty. The double digital panel, attributed to the EV6, also has a good effect. The first part of the journey, made up of Parisian streets and sections of motorway, allows us to understand the hybrid operation of the car. And to note that the intervention of the electric motor is quite frequent. There is no means of comparison with the old Sportage because it was not offered with this type of engine (only mild hybrid 48V), but it is clear that this 4th generation seems well placed in its category. Moreover, the first consumption statement, after a hundred kilometers in the center of Paris and in the outer suburbs, confirms our impressions: 5.8 l/100 km. This is barely more than the approved WLTP consumption (5.5 to 5.6 l/100 km) in the combined cycle.
To escape from Paris to the south, we take a section of the A6 motorway, then we cross the forest of Fontainebleau by the secondary road. By extending our route through the landscapes of the south of the Seine et Marne and the Yonne, we arrive at lunchtime in Nitry (89), at the gates of the Morvan. The friendly and typical Auberge de la Beursaudière opens its doors to us. Period decor, objects witnessing a time when the cultivation of the land was manual, waiters in traditional dress, nothing is missing in this atypical place which contrasts with the modernity of our electrified car. After this break embellished with local products, we attack the crossing of the Morvan by the departmental roads and the National 6.
The Morvan and Johnny, in the rain
The landscapes pass, the turns are numerous, which allows us to appreciate the dynamism of our mount. This is one of the greatest advances of the Sportage “4”, which makes us forget the slightly too wise character of the previous version, but which is intended to be much more closed in suspension. We can not have everything. Its two engines (180 hp thermal + 60 hp electric) combine an available power of 230 hp. The accelerations are frank but not breathtaking. The power reserve is however sufficient to overtake on the main road. The panorama is spectacular in this hilly region, even if the rain that falls towards makes these large empty spaces a little sad. The smile returns when we enter the “Johnny” service station, at the Croix de Molphey (21). The manager, a fan of the idol of young people, decorated the place in his image. The place seems frozen in the 60s, and the hangar next to the vintage gas pumps houses three old American cars, but also a statue of Johnny and “collector” objects of all kinds. Outside, an English model at least fifty years old pretends to drink from old pumps. In this station of multiple inspirations, we forget the passage of time… but also the fact that there are still a few hundred kilometers to go.
On board our contemporary, we resume our journey through the vineyards of Burgundy and Beaujolais, until we reach the greater Lyon suburbs and the charming town of Charbonnières-les Bains. Results of the races: less than 7l/100 km on average, and a journey that we did not see pass. However, it took us nearly 7 hours to cover barely 500 km… The art of traveling differently seduced us.
Heading for the French Riviera
National 7 but also the motorway for a question of timing bring us to Clos des Roses, a wine estate which also exhibits works of art near Fréjus (83). Among the participants in the road-trip is Ted Ranghella, ex-muse of the couturier Calvin Klein and today ambassador of Kia ” way of life “. He discovers the Kia Sorento in hybrid version, over a series called ” Epicurious followed by nearly 300,000 people. An adventure that he will soon post on his social networks, and which makes it possible to realize that the new automobile promotion now also passes through this communication channel. After lunch, a last straight line brings us to the Salon EVER. The future Kia Niro must be presented to us, but other surprises await us.
Prince Albert arrives in an electric truck!
The surprise of the EVER show is to have seen Prince Albert II of Monaco arrive from his Palace to join the exhibition at the wheel of a zero-emission truck. Accompanied by Roger Alm, the executive vice-president of the Volvo group, the sovereign obviously had a lot of fun at the wheel, playing the tightest alleys of the Principality. No one knows if he had trained beforehand, but the performance was carried out perfectly, with a road opened by two bikers. The main truck, a 26 ton Volvo FE, is a model offered for sale. It carries three to six battery packs of 66 kWh each for a range of at least 200 km, costs three times the price of a thermal truck, but opens the right to a government bonus of €100,000. Like cars, the Volvo FE accepts a load of 22 kW to 150 kW in direct current, and is intended to be ” own », and particularly practical for deliveries in the city center, with a controlled route. According to Volvo Trucks, the heaviest trucks, the 44T semi-trailers, will also go electric next year. For suitable distances, of course…
The fastest electric motorcycle in the world
The Voxan Wattman, with which the Italian pilot Max Biaggi set several records last November on the runways of the Kennedy Space Center (Florida), was also a highlight of the show. To remember, the 465 km / h in average speed approved on a standardized exercise, and a little more than 470 km / h at peak. On two wheels, these numbers are impressive. A little further, under the big top which also houses the International Circus Festival and where EVER is now organized, we discover the new Kia Niro. the crossing compact was exhibited at the Lyon show two weeks ago, and this is therefore its second outing in Monaco. national », if we ignore the Franco-Monegasque border.
In a totally renewed style and a body with a two-tone spirit which gives it personality, it also adopts the interior of contemporary Kias, with a totally digital universe, identical to that of the Sportage. Equipped with a larger trunk and imbued with a welcome modernity compared to the current model, it will also be offered in hybrid, PHEV and 100% electric. Its prices are already known and orders open, but deliveries will not take place before the summer, while the first tests are expected in July.
After more than 1,000 km spent at the wheel of the Kia Sportage hybrid, then having visited the EVER show for a long time, we can even better measure the turn to electrification taken by all sectors. Between the more than 40 models of electric cars offered for testing, but also two-wheelers of all kinds or public works machinery (excavators, dumpers, forklifts) with batteries, it now seems impossible to escape the ‘ ‘electric. For those who can’t get used to the idea, it will certainly be necessary, in the vast majority of cases, to make up their minds…