Kia has a bit of a reputation for being cheap (likely because their models appear to be disposable). Judging by their latest concept car unleashed at the Chicago Auto Show, they are working on altering that perception. Yes, it would appear that Kia Motors has stepped up its game a notch, and is heading in a decidedly “green” direction.
The Kia “Ray” concept car unveiled closely resembles the Honda PNUT we recently covered. Both feature a stark and futuristic appeal, with environmentally savvy perks. Maybe Kia was growing weary of negative publicity, or perhaps they have been planning this move for some time, either way, the Ray concept is an improvement.
The technology of the Kia Ray is that of a “plug-in hybrid”, which combines the capacity of an electric car with the practicality of a gasoline engine. Basically, the Ray can run on both electricity and fuel. The Ray can run on electricity alone for up to 50 miles. For lengthier trips, the Ray can use both battery and fuel power, or just fuel power.
The option to run completely off of battery power alone is huge in new hybrid concepts and models. The Kia Ray concept features a 1.4-liter, 153 horsepower gasoline direct injection motor.
In battery power mode, the Ray achieves approximately 200 miles per gallon, and 78 miles per gallon in hybrid mode. There are no current plans to catapult the Kia Ray into production, but there is no doubt that the concept’s technology is cutting edge and green.
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