KIA unveiled their latest RAY Concept at the Chicago Auto Show. Ray concept is a futuristic plug-in hybrid that seats four. Targeted to the eco-conscious, the Ray Concept has a driving range 1,200 km. It can travel 80.5 km on electric power alone plus a fuel economy rating of more than 1.2 liter/100km.
Powering the Ray Concept is a direct injection 153 hp 1.4-litre engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in addition to a 78kw electric motor. Depending on driving conditions, power is routed to the front wheels via the gasoline engine while the electric motor pushes the rear wheels, or both simultaneously.
“It is important to imagine early in the design process what people will want in the future from a green perspective. People want to reduce their carbon footprint without driving carbon copies,” said Peter Schreyer, Kia Chief Design Officer.
“Being green doesn’t have to be an obvious statement anymore and the Kia “Ray” exemplifies a viable blend of modern, eco-minded features for today’s environmentally conscious consumers,” he added.
Based on the Kia Forte platform the Ray Concept features a streamlined body for reduced aerodynamic drag. This is particularly noticeable in the long tail with U-shaped deck lid which extends out from the rear at higher speeds for improved aerodynamics. Despite the “mono-volume shape” the Ray Concept still manages to convey some striking curves topped off by an aggressive snake face front end.
Technologies featured include touch-screen controls, drive-by-wire steering, “cool-glazing” solar glass and a lithium-polymer battery. Naturally, infotainment is handled by Kia’s all-new UVO voice- and touch-activated controls.