Kia unveils 'Ray' plug-in hybrid

* Concept car revealed at Chicago * Futuristic four-seater * Range of 746 miles...

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What Car? Staff
10 February 2010

Kia unveils 'Ray' plug-in hybrid

This is 'Ray': Kia's plug-in hybrid concept car, which has been unveiled today at the Chicago motor show.

Using a combination of lightweight materials and energy-saving technologies, Ray brings claimed fuel economy of more than 202mpg for its total range of 746 miles.

Designed for efficiency
As well as using recycled materials, the car uses clever technology to save energy. Solar panels are embedded in the glass roof panel to power extra lighting or climate control systems.

The low, curvy shape of the car helps improve aerodynamics, while a one-piece underbody panel and narrow tyres help to reduce drag.

The concept car's door mirrors and handles are replaced with motion-detector cameras, creating what Kia calls 'an airframe on wheels'.

The front doors have a cut-out design for the feet, and rear access is made easier by the car's rear-hinged doors.

Ray of sunshine
Laminate films and cool glazing materials help reduce the build up of heat inside the car, and reduce the need for air-conditioning. Inside, the white tones help reflect heat away.

The solar cells on the roof operate a cooling fan which works while the car is parked in the sun.

Green technology inside
A touchscreen instrument layout is lightweight and incorporates the push-button start and gearshift.

Kia's new UVO infotainment system is powered by Microsoft and allows voice- and touch-activated control of the stereo and mobile phone controls. Even the speakers are designed to reduce power consumption and weight.

Hybrid engine
One charge of the electric motor should provide enough power for a range of 50 miles, before the 153bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine joins the party.

Depending on the driving conditions, power is deployed from the electric motor, the petrol engine, or both together.