THE ALL-NEW 2010 Kia Sorento, to be launched in Australia this week, is set to take on the 3000km trek from Darwin to Adelaide in this year's Global Green Car Challenge.
The two Sorento SUVs destined for Darwin will be powered by the new 2.2 litre R-series turbo diesel engine developing 145kW and 422Nm of torque (436Nm in automatic form).
CO2 emissions for the R-series diesel-powered Sorento CRDi are a low 177g/km, and fuel economy figures have yet to be revealed - though the Global Green Car Challenge is sure to test the numbers.
The two Sorentos are being prepared by Canberra-based Neal Bates Motorsport, which ran Toyota Australia's official factory rally team in the Australian Rally Championship for 19 years.
The Sorento is also offered internationally with a 2.4 litre four-cylinder putting down 129kW and 227Nm of torque, but this model will not be represented in the Green Challenge and is currently not confirmed for Australia (we'll learn more this week).
Joining the new Sorento in the challenge will be the Kia Forte (Cerato) LPI Hybrid, featuring a fuel-saving gas/electric powertrain and using just 5.6 litres of LPG per 100km on the combined cycle.
Powered by the same 2.2 litre R-series diesel engine, Kia's partner Hyundai will drive a pair of 2010 Santa Fe SUVs in the Global Green Car Challenge.
Kia Motors Australia is set to launch the brand-new Sorento at an unveiling and drive event later this week, and TMR will be there to bring you full coverage and a ?first drive? review.