When you think of environmental leaders in the automotive industry, Kia probably isn’t the first company that comes to mind. However, at the Chicago Auto Show Kia revealed a new concept that gives them quite a boost in the “green” car segment. Let us introduce you to the game changing Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept. A concept that is as visually stimulating as it is technologically innovative.
Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept car, 2010 Chicago Auto Show

Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept car, 2010 Chicago Auto Show

The Ray concept is based on the popular 2010 Kia Forte design and comes out of the Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine, California. As the fifth vehicle to come out of the KDCA, we believe this is one of the best. The Ray concept represents everything environmentalists want to see in the cars of the future—a potential for 202 mpg, potential range of 746 miles, solar panels embedded in the roof and a drag coefficient of 0.25.

Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept car, 2010 Chicago Auto Show

Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept car, 2010 Chicago Auto Show

The environmental numbers are pretty good, especially for a plug-in hybrid, but there is more to the Kia Ray—style and technology. In order to get to the low drag coefficient Kia removed the side mirrors and replaced them with cameras that allow the driver to view the rear and sides of the vehicle. The car also has drive-by-wire technology, lightweight materials and the new UVO multifunction entertainment system. For those looking for speed, a top speed of 109 mph isn’t two shabby for a car with emphasis on being easy on it’s surroundings.

Bottom line—Chevrolet and Toyota should be keeping an eye on this one; while the there aren’t any confirmed plans for a production version of the Ray, the concept version steals some of the spot light from the Volt and Prius plug-in hybrids.

Check out our partner coverage on the Kia Ray over at MotorAuthority.com.