Ray Plug In Hybrid
11th February 2010
America (KMA) today unveiled the Ray Plug-in Hybrid concept during a press
conference at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, advancing the momentum of Kia
Motors’ global alternative fuel and powertrain research program, and its
sub-brand coined “EcoDynamics,” to develop innovative fuel-stretching and
emissions-cutting technologies. The most efficient Kia vehicles with
significant fuel consumption and emission reductions developed under the
EcoDynamics sub-brand will be identified with the EcoDynamics badge.
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.
As the world demands more efficient
vehicle designs that combine sophisticated and sleek lines with
functionality and fuel economy, the Kia Ray concept is a bold new
collaboration between design and engineering. Ray inventively
showcases a futuristic four-seat compact sedan based on the Kia Forte
platform and demonstrates a prospective plug-in hybrid vehicle configuration
from Kia. Designed with light-weight 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 Sorento.
“It is important to imagine what people will want in the future from
a green perspective early in the design process,” said Peter Schreyer, Chief
Design Officer, Kia Motors Corporation. “People want to reduce their carbon
footprint without driving carbon copies. Being green doesn’t have to
be an obvious statement anymore and Kia Ray exemplifies a viable blend of
modern, eco-minded features for today’s environmentally conscious
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).
part of Kia Motors’ EcoDynamics sub-brand, the Ray concept demonstrates a
unique vision for eye-catching vehicles with the goal of reducing
environmental footprints. Kia models will carry the EcoDynamics badge
as they are progressively introduced and are designed to deliver significant
environmental benefits. These vehicles also will retain a sporty
design, fun-to-drive performance and a strong appeal for the young-at-heart.
Aircraft-Inspired Exterior Design
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
A tapering greenhouse cabin and a longer
“tail” improve aerodynamics while reduction of drag is attained through a
one-piece, smooth-as-glass, integrated underbody panel, narrow tire width
and flush wheel design. Front driving lamps slide back to create
openings for better air intake when the gasoline engine is being used and a
sliding U-shaped deck-lid extends from the rear of the vehicle at higher
speeds for improved coefficient of drag. In lieu of side-view mirrors
and door handles, motion-detector cameras are mounted flush with the body
for safe lane changing procedures and opening of doors. The result is
an airframe on wheels. The front door opening features a forward
cutout design for the feet allowing ease of entry. The rear door lines
are purposeful with rear-hinged coach doors, yet stylish as their height and
shape improves ingress and egress.
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
vehicle is parked in the sun, the solar cells provide a trickle charge that
help operate the cooling fan to reduce interior temperatures.
and Airy Interior
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
Fresh and sustainable materials like wool flooring unite
to create a simple, yet sophisticated, comfortable cabin, with a
light-weight touch screen instrument layout featuring touch screen
push-button start and gear shift toggle. The center stack features the
all-new Kia UVO powered by Microsoft®
advanced infotainment system,
which provides users with friendly voice- and touch-activated controls
for simple management of music files and hands-free mobile phone operations.
Adding to the list of green technology features, 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 percent of current Infinity
speakers and employs a lower dissipation design for significant savings in
With a focus to reduce overall weight through
materials and design, a hexagon/honeycomb 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. Other materials found in the cabin are soft to
the touch with a matte finish, including white leather, offering a more
luxurious feel while making the interior more inviting and tranquil.
The 100 percent earthy mocha wool felt floors add a touch of warmth and are
environmentally friendly, coming from a renewable resource. Further to
Ray’s green characteristics, the floor mats are incorporated into the design
of the floor, greatly reducing the amount of material used.
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.
Furthering EcoDynamics innovation, the Ray concept’s advanced system 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.