Products from Korean automakers were once thought of as sad imitations of their Japanese counterparts, but vehicles like the Hyudai Sonata and Kia Optima have proved that these newcomers have quickly caught up to the competition. Now, Kia is taking Korea one step further by adding a hybrid version of the compact Rio sedan. It uses a 90-horsepower 1.4-liter gas engine mated to a small electric motor. Four thousand Rio hybrids will soon take to Korean roads in a real world test program done in conjunction with the Korean Ministry of the Environment, and consumer models should arrive here in the States some time in 2008.
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