Kia shines a Ray

February 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Kia has unveiled a plug-in hybrid concept called Ray at the Chicago Auto Show this week. The Ray, designed by Peter Schreyer, is based on the US-market Forte saloon, and it features hexagonal solar cells in its roof to power lighting and climate control systems, lighter-weight and recycled materials, a more aerodynamic profile than the production Forte, and details such as  a deployable rear decklid spoiler, rear-view cameras in place of door mirrors, retracting headlamps, electronic steer-by-wire, a low-energy audio system  and energy-capturing cooling/ventilation systems.

The powertrain combines a 153bhp 1.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine, a 78kW motor, lithium-polymer battery and CVT gearbox, giving a top speed of 109mpg and a fuel return of 77.6mpg in normal running or up to 202.3mpg if used to its full plug-in recharging potential. Total possible range between refuelling is a claimed 746miles.

Don’t expect the Ray itself to go on sale in Europe any time soon, but many of these features will be on their way to production Kias.

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