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Kia concept news - Ray: soulful - 2010
Kia has chosen the Chicago Auto Show to unveil a
concept tribute to the Genius of High Soul. It is simply called… Ray.
OK, it isn’t really a tribute to Ray Charles. The Ray is a hybrid coupe concept
that, behind its streamlined, slippery exterior, points to Kia’s intention to
produce a genuine Prius rival in the next couple of years.
The Ray is powered by a 1.4-litre direct injection petrol engine and a 78kW
electric motor fed by a lithium ion battery pack. Within the low-drag body of
the Ray - Kia quotes a drag coefficient of just 0.25 - that’s apparently good
for economy of 202mpg (pinch, salt, etc.) and a range of 750 miles. The Ray is
able to travel up to 50 miles on electric power alone.
Despite its coupe-ish shape, the Ray won’t be quick: though Kia doesn’t quote a
0-60mph time, it does admit a top speed of just 109mph.
There’s plenty of clever green tech on board, though. That panoramic glass roof
contains hexagonal solar panels, which will top up the battery pack and help
cool the cabin.
We’ve seen those rear-view cameras on concepts a million times before, but we
like the sound of the Ray’s headlights, which slide back at speed to improve
airflow over the front of the car.
They’re unlikely to see production for a while, but the Ray’s hybrid drivetrain
should: we’re told Kia is keen to adapt a similar system for use in its current
production cars including the C’e’ee’e’d. Excited? No?