Kia Motors debuts its plug-in hybrid concept ‘Ray’ at Chicago Auto Show

CALIFORNIA, USA (AVING) — <Visual News> Kia Motors unveiled its plug-in hybrid concept ‘Ray’ during a press conference at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.

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.

The stylish, aerodynamic Ray combines design and engineering for maximum efficiency, incorporating clean, flush surfaces minimizing unnecessary 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 Motors. As a plug-in hybrid, Ray is designed to reach driving distances of more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) using its electric motor on a single charge, and has a fuel economy rating of more than 202 miles per gallon (85.9 kilometers per liter), and has a total range of 746 miles (1200 kilometers).

Using the natural element of air as the design focus to convey a pure, refreshing, breathable and lightweight feeling, Ray’s interior is comprised of eco-friendly recycled materials in cool white tones to offer passengers a sense of crispness, while also reflecting the heat of the sun, keeping the temperature down and reducing the need of air conditioner use. Front and rear seats, mounted on side sills, create a floating effect with hollowed out elastomeric materials to support body weight, made of lightweight composite materials.

EcoDynamics is the overarching design philosophy applied to make the Kia Ray concept efficiently functional and striking in appearance. A lowered mono-volume shape and a strong, curvaceous silhouette give the Kia Ray concept better aerodynamic properties than taller profile hybrid vehicles. Strong and lightweight materials are used to support the EcoDynamics philosophy starting with a tabbed LED Kia badge covered with a single piece of glass that extends over the hood and another piece of glass that extends from the cowl of the windshield to the rear header to offer occupants a spacious, airy feeling. A lighted bluish white-colored battery charge indicator display is hood-mounted, furthering the Kia Ray concept’s futuristic design.