The Koreans just keep getting better and better. Kia has simultaneously unveiled two things today, its Eco Dynamics green brand and the new Kia Forte LPI Hybrid for the Korean domestic market.
Eco Dynamics is Kia’s equivalent to BMW efficient dynamics, Volkswagen bluemotion, Toyota Optimal Drive, and etc. Hyundai has its own called Blue Drive. Vehicles that incorporate hybrid technologies as well as other fuel saving features will wear the Eco Dynamics badge. Kia has already demonstrated its own Idle-Stop-Go system in a Kia c’eed in Europe.
The Kia Forte LPI Hybrid runs on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (used in Korea, we use CNG here in our NGVs) and its 1.6 litre Gamma LPI HEV engine is assisted by an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the CVT gearbox. Power output is 114 PS and a peak torque of 148Nm. The electric motor draws power from a lithium-polymer battery, which is the first use in a production hybrid car. Li-Po is lighter and more compact compared to NiMH batteries.
Kia claims a fuel efficiency of 17.2 km per litre for the Forte LPI Hybrid, or an estimated 21.5km per litre if the engine used gasoline for combustion instead. As LPG is roughly two thirds the price of petrol in Korea, Kia says the Forte LPI Hybrid would save its owner 980,000 Korean won a year, or RM2,600+ if driven 20,000km a year.
No shots of the interior have been released by Kia PR but the interior uses a Super Vision cluster to display hybrid system data and a navigation display. The Super Vision cluster is essentially Kia’s word for an EL self-illuminating meter panel.