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First Look: Chevrolet Mi-Ray Concept

High-performance hybrid looks forward into the past.

by on Apr.01, 2011

The Chevrolet Mi-Ray concept will make its formal debut, this week, at the Seoul Motor Show.

The name is Korean for “future,” but if anything, the Chevrolet Mi-Ray Concept looks forward into the past, using advanced technology and a Jetsons-style design to harken back to the brand’s long sports car heritage.

The Chevy Mi-Ray Concept vehicle will make its debut at the Seoul Motor Show, this week, a standout at an event typically dominated by home-market offerings like the Hyundai Blue2 Concept.  (Click Here for a look at that Korean fuel cell prototype.)

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Like any number of General Motors concept vehicles – such as the striking Cadillac Cien, Chevy designers suggest they were influenced by “fighter jets.”  But they also drew upon the long list of Chevrolet concepts and production cars past, everything from the Corvette gallery to the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder and 1963 Monza SS.

Classic cues include the flying buttresses that flow out of the headrests and the minimalist, wraparound windshield.  But the Chevy Mi-Ray is anything but a retro-mobile.


First Look: Kia Naimo

A battery car for squares?

by on Mar.31, 2011

Naimo, Kia's third battery car concept, adopts the square shape familiar to fans of the Soul.

A first look at the new Naimo concept vehicle and you might think you’re looking at the next-generation Kia Soul.  They do share some basics, including the hard-edged new prototype its name, Naimo derived from the Korean word for “square shape.”

But with its pottery-like finish, the new Kia Naimo is the latest in a string of battery-powered prototypes from the Korean carmaker, this one making its debut today at the annual Seoul Motor Show.  As with many recent electric vehicles, Kia’s concept targets an urban market where today’s relatively limited batteries won’t produce excess range anxiety.

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A relatively simple design nonetheless boasts some distinctive features, including a wraparound windshield and an unusual, asymmetric sunroof.  The front and rear LED lamps use a dot-like design.

Though it sits on a modest B-segment platform, Kia targeted a more upscale market for the Naimo, offering a Korean oak-laden interior contrasted by the use of a classic Korean paper-finished headliner.