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Kia unveils a new concept plug-in hybrid

post #1 of 3
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Kia Motors America took the wraps off the Ray concept at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.


If built, Kia says the Ray’s drivetrain could consist of a 153-bhp 1.4-liter Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 4-cylinder, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and a 78-kW electric motor fed by lithium-ion polymer batteries. Power can be sent to the front wheels via the electric motor, the gasoline engine, or both. Kia claims the Ray concept can drive 50 miles on pure electric power. As a plug-in HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the Ray, according to Kia, delivers 202 mpg; as a pure HEV, it returns 77.6 mpg. Total range is 746 miles. Top speed is 109 mph.

50 mile all electric range beats the Chevy Volt's 40 miles, and the 77 mpg hybrid efficiency beats the Volt's ~50 mpg.

The Ray’s exterior shape was inspired from aircraft design to achieve the utmost in aerodynamics, while a one-piece integrated underbody panel and narrow tires (195/50-20s) contribute to its drag coefficient of 0.25.

That's another impressive figure.  The Volt's drag coefficient is 0.28.  The Prius is 0.30 and the new Honda Insight is 0.32.

The article doesn't mention how much the Ray might cost or when it might be produced.  Still, good to see another major auto company developing a cool plug-in hybrid.
post #2 of 3
 This is beautiful! It looks more like a sneaker than an aircraft (modeled after) but really cool looking. I think besides affordability, looks are crucial to getting a lot of people to buy it.
post #3 of 3
İ like the looks/style - should draw people to it. Like Dana pointed out the drag coefficient is lower than the competition. Weight plus drag equals fuel consumption so the economy is very good.

Digital Trends has some more pictures:

The control systems are starting to bother me a bit though. Toyota being the case in the news today. Some place today İ read about their 'steering by wire' design. OK, it has been used in commercial airplanes since the A320 (military for longer) but İ am not at all sure it is ready for prime time in a million cars.
The site İ just provided the URL for has a good writeup on the concept car.

The solar cells in the roof? OK but no big deal - İ suppose that if you park in a sunny location and with the car aimed toward the sun you might capture one kWh of power. Seeing as most parking spaces will have less than optimum orientation compared to the sun ---

The KERS system regenerative breaking is used in F1 racing - power captured is allowed to be used for one short burst per lap. They also use the brakes a bit stronger than a city sedan. İt will be interesting to see how useful it is with normal driving.
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