Chicago Motor Show 2010 is the only place where we can see ‘LIVE' the stunning Kia Ray Plug-in Hybrid concept, which made its official debut yesterday. Along with the new concept ride, Kia has also announced the launch of its eco sub-brand dubbed EcoDynamics, under which badge we can expect the most eco-friendly vehicles from the brand.

The all-new Ray PHEV concept blends the latest technology and styling innovations by Kia. It showcases a compact, modern four-seater sedan that draws its basis from the Kia Forte and further demonstrates a prospective plug-in hybrid vehicle. Engineered with lightweight materials, the future ride benefits from innovative hexagonal roof-top solar cells embedded in the glass roof panel, which provide extra power for lighting and climate control unit. The Kia Ray represents the fifth consecutive vehicle developed by the Kia Design Center America (KDCA) for a period of one year.

"It is important to imagine what people will want in the future from a green perspective early in the design process, because people want to reduce their carbon footprint without driving carbon copies," said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors Corporation. "Being green doesn't have to be an obvious statement anymore and the Kia Ray exemplifies a viable blend of modern, eco-minded features for today's environmentally conscious consumers."

The PHEV vehicle's exterior is distinguished by clean-sleek design with flowing profile and expressive rear shoulder ending. Combining features like touch-screen controls, drive-by-wire steering, "cool-glazing" solar glass and a lithium-polymer battery, the Kia Ray indicates the brand's future technology developments. 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 fuel economy rating of more than 202 miles per gallon, and has a total range of 746 miles.

The Kia engineers have fitted the Ray Concept with an all-aluminum 153 horsepower Gasoline Direct Injected 1.4-liter power-plant linked to a permanently-engaged CVT transmission, used in combination with a 78 kW electric motor. Depending on the speed and driving conditions, the Ray gets its power from the gasoline engine, the electric motor, or both together. The car is front-wheel drive with a four-wheel independent suspension.

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