Pushing the cutting edge of technology forward has been a job traditionally set on the shoulders of the car industry's leaders, as they have the R&D budgets to finance the expensive and time-consuming work. But Hyundai-Kia is pushing technology on its own of late with the introduction of a pair of liquid-petroleum-injected hybrids.
Kia's is the latest to join the lineup, with a Forte LPI Hybrid launching in South Korea today, reports Kia World
. The car uses the same system launched last July in the Hyundai Elantra
. Both cars will be sold in 'global markets' after a shakedown period in South Korea, though it's not yet clear if that means the U.S. and Europe will be included.
The system uses a 114hp (85kW) fuel-injected LPG Gamma engine displacing 1.6L and a 20hp (15kW) electric motor hooked to a continuously variable transmission. The electric motor runs off a set of lithium-ion batteries, and altogether the hybrid car is good for just 103g/km of CO2 emissions. That works out to 40.5mpg US (or 5.8L/100km), about the same as the new Honda Insight, but somewhat behind the new Toyota Prius, which is rated at 50mpg in the combined cycle.
The Forte hybrid's styling is typical of the segment, with unique elements to mark the car out as a hybrid from a distance, including LED tail lights, unique front and rear fascias and a modified grille.