The Kio Rio Hybrid is
the pride of Hyundai, so to speak. Being called the Kia
Pride in some markets, the Rio Hybrid has been unveiled
at the 2007 Geneva Motor show (77th Salon de l'Automobiles
This four door sedan
aims to be the lowest price hybrid on the market with
an expected selling price of under $20,000 MSRP.
By comparison, the Saturn
Aura Hybrid is currently the low cost leader coming
in at around the $22,500 mark. The Kia Rio Hybrid offers a 44-percent
gasoline savings over the standard Kia Rio with an average of
city / hwy 53.4 mpg. The Kia Rio Hybrid also offers a 37-percent
reduction in emissions making this a green car lover's delight.
If you're looking for a speed-burner, however, you may wish
to look in a different direction as the Rio Hybrid achieves
0 - 60 mph acceleration in just 12.2 seconds. The vehicle does,
however, have a top speed of 112 mph, which is more than enough
for the average driver wanting to avoid speeding tickets. The
Kia Rio Hybrid comes equipped with a small 4-cylinder 1.4 liter,
90 bhp engine with a 12 kw electric motor and a CVT transmission.
The Kia Rio Hybrid is considered to be a mild hybrid in that
the electric motor assists the gasoline engine when it comes
to starting, accelerating and climbing hills. The Rio Hybrid
also employs engine idle cut-off and restart as needed. Regenerative
braking recharges the NiMH 144 volt battery pack.
The Rio Hybrid has also cut its weight considerably (23-percent)
over the standard version by employing an aluminum hood, trunk
and front seat frames. The Kia hybrid also uses lightweight
wheels and low-friction tires. The hydraulic power steering
system has also been replaced by an all electric system to help
cut down on the weight of the vehicle.
The Korean Ministry of the Environment has ordered an additional
3,390 hybrid vehicles from Kia Motors and Hyundai over the next
two years as part of their real world hybrid testing program.
This also includes the Rio Hybrid's sister car, the Hyundai
Accent Hybrid. There is no word yet on when the Kia
Rio Hybrid will be available in the U. S. commercial market.