• Mar 24, 2009
Kia Forte LPI hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Kia has just introduced its first mass production hybrid model based on the new Forte compact sedan in its home market of South Korea. The Forte LPI hybrid uses a smaller 20-hp version of the hybrid system that Hyundai showed at the LA Auto Show last November. That system uses a pancake motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission for electric drive and boost as well as regenerative braking. A separate, integrated starter generator handles auto start-stop duties.

The Forte hybrid uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine fueled by liquefied petroleum gas (propane) and is the first production vehicle to use a lithium polymer battery. The new battery was developed by LG Chem and will also be used in the Sonata Hybrid when it debuts next year. Along with the hybrid Forte, Kia rolled out new eco-Dynamics branding for its more efficient vehicles including hybrids.

While it's unlikely we'll ever see an LPG-equipped car from Kia in the U.S. market, it does seem likely that a Forte hybrid with a gas engine will arrive at some point. We've contacted Kia for comment on that but have yet to get a response. Thanks to Mike for the tip!


[Source: Kia-World]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Uhh, other than the fact that the headlights have a "kink" in them (at a diff. spot I might add; not to mention the headlights are bigger), the Forte looks nothing like the jellybean-shaped Civic.

      Mitsu and VW have headlamps w/ a kink in them (ooh, they must have "copied" Honda).

      Mitsu and VW are utilizing a variant of the "angry" headlights look originated in the Elantra (ooh, they must be "copying" Hyundai).

      Saturn's grille (w/ the chrome bar w/ a "nub" on top) is just like the Civic's - I guess they ripped off Honda, except, Mitsu was the 1st to do so.

      Honda and Toyota are both utilizing a variant of the3 bar-grille started by Ford.

      The new Honda Insight has the same general body-shape/greenhhouse as the Prius.

      The xB's boxy shaped was inspired by Nissan's Cube.

      And so on and so on...
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a funny looking Civic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The girls are lovely...but...must...look...away...and...talk about the vehicle. Wow, that hurt. I think it's great that Kia is showing an interest in Hybrids, and who cares if it looks like a bunch of vehicles put together? If the price is right, it will cut through.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did I arrive in time for the discussion about what other cars this Kia looks like? I did?

      Ok, well, then did I get here in time to mention how I don't like the car, but I'll take one of the models? Really? Too late? Damn.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a re-designed Civic, so much better. Love the rear end.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can take the rear end, but those ghetto lights are way over the top.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is a hybrid, indeed. Front is a hybrid of Ford Focus and Honda Accord, rear is a hybrid of Honda Civic and BMW 1xx. Still, the color helps since it blinds the passerby, so he can't notice the derivative styling.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I do see a lot of Civic, but I think these shots make it look nicer than a Civic. I hope it does very well. Good luck!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The honey on the right is kinda hot.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice Saab.

      Kia also has another car that looks just like an accord.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The color on your car is a bit loud. Can you please TURN IT DOWN??? Thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My only objection is the loud neon color. I hope it doesn't make it to the options list.
        • 5 Years Ago
        MY EYES! MY EYES! It burns!
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