Kia Motors America has revealed the Ray Plug-in Hybrid concept during a press conference at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.
The most efficient Kia vehicles with significant fuel consumption and emission reductions developed under the EcoDynamics sub-brand will be identified with the EcoDynamics badge. Recently, the EcoDynamics sub-brand took a major step forward with the introduction of the Kia Borrego Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) followed by the Forte LPI Hybrid, the gasoline Kia cee’d Hybrid and the twin-turbo diesel Kia Sorento Hybrid.
The Kia Ray concept is a bold new collaboration between design and engineering and 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.
Designed with lightweight and recycled materials, as well as hexagonal roof-top solar cells embedded in the glass roof panel that power extra lighting or climate control systems, the Kia Ray is the fifth vehicle from the Irvine Calif.-based Kia Design Center America (KDCA) to be revealed in the last year.
The stylish, aerodynamic Ray combines design and engineering for maximum efficiency, incorporating clean, flush surfaces minimizing any unneeded edges, a flowing profile and pronounced rear shoulder ending in a slightly high deck lid for reduced drag, touch-screen controls, drive-by-wire steering, “cool-glazing” solar glass and a lithium-polymer battery – all possible indicators of future technology from Kia. As a plug-in hybrid, Ray is designed to reach driving distances of more than 50 miles using its electric motor on a single charge, and has a fuel economy rating of more than 202 miles per gallon, and has a total range of 746 miles.
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.
Furthering EcoDynamics innovation, the Ray concept’s advanced system is equipped with an engine-power saving alternator management system and a toggle gear-shift up/down indicator to encourage economical driving. Custom-designed low-rolling resistance with a hexagon pattern, narrow 20-inch (195/50R20) tires also improve Ray’s efficiency.
Striking Aircraft-Inspired Exterior Design
A lowered mono-volume shape and a strong, curvaceous silhouette give the Kia “Ray” concept better aerodynamic properties than taller profile hybrid vehicles.
Strong, lightweight materials are used to support the EcoDynamics philosophy. The LED Kia badge is covered with a single piece of glass that extends over the hood and another piece of glass extends from the cowl of the windshield to the rear header to offer occupants a spacious, airy feeling.
A tapering greenhouse cabin and a longer “tail” improve aerodynamics while reduction of drag is attained through a one-piece integrated underbody panel, narrow tyre width and flush wheel design.
The front headlamps slide back to create openings for better air intake when the petrol engine is being used and a sliding U-shaped deck-lid extends from the rear of the vehicle at higher speeds for improved coefficient of drag.
Instead of side-view mirrors and door handles, motion-detector cameras are mounted flush with the body for safe lane changing procedures and opening of doors. The result is an airframe on wheels. The front door opening features a forward cutout design for the feet allowing ease of entry. The purposeful rear-hinged coach doors add a stylish touch and their height and shape improves entry and exit.
The “Ray” employs new “cool car” technology, including nano-laminate films and cool-glazing materials 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 helps operate a cooling fan to reduce interior temperatures.
|Length||173.2 inches / 4,400 mm|
|Width||72.8 inches / 1,850 mm|
|Height||53.5 inches / 1,360 mm|
|Wheelbase||106.3 inches / 2,700 mm|
|Tires||195/50 R20 low-rolling resistance|
|Engine||1.4-liter Gamma 153-hp GDI engine /|
78kw electric motor
|Transmission||CVT/ fixed ratio|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
(Pure HEV Mode)
(Plug-in HEV Mode)
|Vehicle Range||746 miles|