|The Kia Ray plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled the Ray Plug-in Hybrid concept compact sedan during a press conference at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. Based on the Kia Forte platform, the Ray Concept is designed to be powered by an all-aluminum 153 hp (114 kW) Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 1.4-liter engine mated to a permanently-engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), used in combination with a 78 kW electric motor and a lithium-polymer battery pack.
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.
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 projected fuel economy rating of more than 202 mpg, and offers a total range of 746 miles.
The Ray concept 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.
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 latest design from KDCA follows award-winning Kia vehicles Soul, Forte, Forte Koup and the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV.
The Ray employs new “cool car” technology, including nano-laminate films and cool-glazing materials applied to the concept 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 roof-mounted solar cells provide a trickle charge that helps operate a cooling fan to reduce interior temperatures.
Ray also employs the all-new GreenEdge system by Infinity Audio, complete with loudspeakers that reduce power consumption and dissipation through lower self heating temperatures with increased acoustic performance, a better synergy between amplifier, speaker and vehicle. The amplifier used also reduces the idle power consumption by 50% of current Infinity speakers and employs a lower dissipation design for savings in overall weight.
With a focus to reduce overall weight through materials and design, the hexagon/honeycomb design shape can be found throughout the cabin, used as a repeated design element while tying the interior theme together. Used also in the door inserts and seats, this lightweight and breathable mesh serves to reduce overall curb weight as well as being a unique design element.
EcoDynamics. Kia uses the EcoDyanmics sub-brand to identify the most efficient Kia vehicles with significant fuel consumption and emission reductions. 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.