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Kia Attempts to Take over Paris Motor Show

Maker debuts several vehicles, puts 23 cars on display.

by on Sep.30, 2014

The 2015 Kia Rio debuts at the Paris Motor Show. The maker will have 23 vehicles on display at the show.

A few years ago, it was Lotus that tried to make a big splash at the Paris Motor Show and now Kia seems to be grabbing the spotlight for this year’s event, which starts later this week.

The South Korean automaker will have 23 vehicles on its stand in the City of Light this year, including an Optima T-Hybrid and a new Rio, which hasn’t been updated since 2011, as well as new versions of its Sorento SUV.

The Optima features diesel-electric hybrid powertrain with a 1.7-liter diesel boasting a turbocharger and a supercharger. The new diesel uses less fuel than a comparably sized gas engine, but develops more low-end torque, which is an advantage in city driving.

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“No plans have been confirmed yet for mass production of the Kia Optima T-Hybrid show car,” the maker said in a statement. “The T-Hybrid powertrain remains under consideration for new Kia models in the future.” (more…)

Kia Unveils Korea’s First Battery Car

Ray EV gets 86 miles per charge and outperforms gas model.

by on Dec.22, 2011

The Kia Ray EV is Korea's first battery car.

Kia has charged out Korea’s first full battery-electric vehicle, a city car dubbed the Ray EV.

A virtual clone of one of the Asian maker’s conventionally powered multi-purpose minicars, the lithium-ion-powered Ray EV will get about 86 miles per charge, the maker says.  And, significantly, it will outperform the gas-powered 5-door.

Like its sibling Hyundai, Kia has been slow to embrace battery power, only recently introducing its first hybrid in the key U.S. market, a version of the midsize Optima sedan.  But both Korean brands have announced plans to aggressively expand their electrified offerings, with an array of conventional hybrids, plug-ins and full battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, under development.

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The Kia Ray EV uses a 16.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer pack – about the same size as the larger Chevrolet Volt, and a third smaller than the battery pack in the Nissan Leaf.  It powers a 50kW, or 67 horsepower, electric motor which turns out 123 lb-ft of torque.


First Look: Kia Optima Hybrid

Korea’s smaller maker enters the battery world.

by on Nov.18, 2010

Kia's first hybrid goes with higher-power, lighter-weight lithium batteries.

Kia is making its belated entry into electric propulsion with the launch of its first gas-electric model, the 2011 Optima Hybrid, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new model, similar in underlying technology to the new Sonata hybrid sold by Korean sibling Hyundai, is expected to push the fuel efficiency of the midsize sedan to more than 40 mpg.

Tom Loveless, Kia vice president of sales, said while the hybrid market is small, “it’s a growing segment. The interest in alternative powertrains is continuing to grow,” he said.

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Kia’s first-ever hybrid in the U.S. will attract those looking for a striking and well-equipped sedan that does not sacrifice style, comfort, performance or value for fuel efficiency, Loveless said.