Melding traditional fuel-saving techniques with modern, high-tech ones, Kia also put a special emphasis on aerodynamics to make the car as smooth as possible. All the surfaces are flush with one another and sharp edges are kept to an absolute minimum in an all-out effort to reduce drag. Even the side mirrors and door handles are gone, replaced with motion-activated cameras.
Underneath, Kia has sealed the bottom of the car in order to further reduce drag and employed tall, narrow tires custom-made with a hexagonal pattern to keep with the theme. Above, the daytime running lights slide back to open air intake ducts for the gas engine as needed and a U-shaped decklid extends from the rear of the car at speed to improve aerodynamics.
Open the Ray's long, coupe-like front doors and the rear-hinged clamshell rear doors and you'll find even more hexagons in the door panels and seat inserts acting as both a styling element and a lightweight mesh. The leather seats are suspended from the side sills and are made from lightweight composites. Like the rest of the interior, they're finished in white to minimize heat absorption.
Up front, complimenting the drive-by-wire steering, you'll find touchscreens for everything, even starting the car and putting the transmission in gear. Kia's new UVO infotainment system, meanwhile, has been matched with Infinity's GreenEdge lightweight, power-saving stereo to provide low-impact entertainment. There's also a shift indicator for the driver to encourage fuel-efficient driving when manually shifting and a hood-mounted, illuminated battery charge indicator, complimented by an LED-lit Kia badge up at the nose.
Kia says all of the technology featured on the Ray is feasible for production some day and likely foreshadows features that will be found on EcoDynamics models in the near future. Should competition such as the Volt catch on, a production version of the Ray concept would be a logical move for Kia as it continues to diversify its brand.