Kia unveils Forte LPI Hybrid

Article by Christian A., on March 24, 2009

The first hybrid car from the South Korean manufacturer Kia Motors will make its debut on the market this year, in August. The vehicle will come at this year's Seoul Motor Show and will be based on the Kia Forte.

Dubbed as the Kia Forte LPI Hybrid, the car will use LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as an alternative fuel but will be fitted also with an electric motor.

According to the manufacturer, the Kia Forte LPI Hybrid will be powered by a 1.6-liter Liquefied Petroleum Injected (LPI) engine delivering 114 hp of max motive power and coupled to an electric motor capable to deliver 20 hp of peak output.

The battery found on the new Kia Forte LPI Hybrid will be manufactured by LG Chem – a chemical company based in Seoul, South Korea -- and will use lithium-polymer (Li-poly), since the South Koreans are not convinced by the quality of the Lithium-Ion batteries.

It seems that the supplier of the batteries will be the same used by Chevrolet for the new Volt. The vehicle will also come with a new body kit consisting in a new front bumper with larger air intakes, a new grille and a new rear bumper.

According to our sources, Kia claims that for a distance of 20,000 km the total costs of the fuel in the new Kia Forte LPI Hybrid will be with 700 less than a gasoline-powered vehicle.

The new Kia Forte LPI Hybrid is derived from the Kia Forte compact car -- known as the K3 in South Korea – that replaced the Kia Cerato (Kia Spectra). The Kia Forte is available in two-door coupe, four-door sedan, five-door hatchback variants. It is underpinned by the same platform that underpins as the Hyundai Elantra, although it employs a torsion-beam rear suspension instead of a multilink design.

Based in Seoul, South Korea, Kia Motors is considered as the second largest carmaker in South Korea, although it also belongs to the Hyundai Motor Group where Hyundai Motor Co. is also a member. Kia was founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry. Kyungsung Precision Industry changed its named to Kia Industries in 1952.

Kia commenced building Honda-licensed small motorcycles in 1957. It also started Mazda-licensed trucks in 1962 and Mazda-licensed cars in 1974. Kia commenced production at the Sohari Plant in 1973. Production ended in 1981 when military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation, with Kia focusing entirely on light trucks.

In 1986, Kia resumed car production in partnership with Ford. Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997. This led to an ownership agreement with Hyundai Motor Co., resulting to the formation of the Hyundai Motor Group.

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Topics: kia, kia forte, coupe, hybrid



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