UK-based Kia Cee'd buyers won't be able to take advantage of new engine stop-start fuel-saving technology until late 2009 at the earliest.
The system reduces fuel consumption by up to 15%, but will initially be fitted only to left-hand-drive models bound for other European markets.
Paul Philpott, managing director of Kia UK, said: 'We want to bring this advanced technology to UK customers as soon as possible, but sadly we will have to wait for right-hand drive production to begin.'
Kia is calling the system ISG - meaning idle stop and go. Cars fitted with it will have a lightweight manual gearbox to counteract the extra weight of the ISG components.
The gearbox is said to be easier to use, while also offering significantly better feel for the driver.