AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Kia Motors debuts 'Ray' plug-in hybrid concept in Chicago

Kia Motors debuts 'Ray' plug-in hybrid concept in Chicago image

Text: / Photos: Kia Press | posted February 11, 2010 21:00

In a new light

Kia Motors America recently unveiled the Ray Plug-in Hybrid concept during a press conference at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, advancing the momentum of Kia Motors' global alternative fuel and powertrain research program, and its sub-brand coined "EcoDynamics," to develop innovative fuel-stretching and emissions-cutting technologies.

As the world demands more efficient vehicle designs that combine sophisticated and sleek lines with functionality and fuel economy, the Kia Ray concept is a bold new collaboration between design and engineering. Ray inventively showcases a futuristic four-seat compact sedan based on the Kia Forte platform and demonstrates a prospective plug-in hybrid vehicle configuration from Kia.

The Ray employs new "cool car" technology, including nano-laminate films and cool-glazing materials applied to the concept to dramatically reduce solar heat and demonstrate how keeping the interior cool will reduce air conditioning loads and greenhouse emissions. When the vehicle is parked in the sun, the solar cells provide a trickle charge that help operate the cooling fan to reduce interior temperatures.

As part of Kia Motors' EcoDynamics sub-brand, the Ray concept demonstrates a unique vision for eye-catching vehicles with the goal of reducing environmental footprints. Kia models will carry the EcoDynamics badge as they are progressively introduced and are designed to deliver significant environmental benefits. These vehicles also will retain a sporty design, fun-to-drive performance and a strong appeal for the young-at-heart.

The Ray Concept is designed to be powered by an all-aluminum 153-horsepower Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 1.4-liter engine mated to a permanently-engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), used in combination with a 78kw electric motor. Depending on driving conditions, power is sent to the wheels from the gasoline engine, the electric motor, or both together. The Ray concept is front-wheel drive with a four-wheel independent suspension system.