Kia Motors has unveiled liquefied petroleum gas-electric hybrid version of the ForTe and its eco-friendly sub-brand Eco Dynamics.


Eco Dynamics is a sub-brand that represents ecology and economics and the company’s aim of developing environmentally friendly automotive technologies, the logo for which will be used on hybrid, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles to be launched in the future.


The hybrid Forte is equipped with a 1.6-liter LPG engine and an electric motor to support the internal combustion engine during acceleration and when the vehicle is started, the Korea Herald reported.


The vehicle’s maximum power output is 114 brake horsepower and fuel economy comes is 17.2km per litre of LPG, equivalent to 21.5km per litre of petrol consumption, the company said.


Fuel costs over 20,000km are 980,000 won (US$709) lower than that of the petrol-powered model.


The LPI hybrid Forte is the world’s first hybrid vehicle to be fitted with a lithium-ion polymer battery, which is lighter and smaller but has higher output than nickel-metal hydride batteries. The company also altered the exterior and interior design of the hybrid Forte to set it apart from the normal version of the vehicle. The company said that it plans to develop a distinct tune that will be played when the hybrid Forte is started to further differentiate the car from conventional vehicles and use the tune in advertising campaigns.


The hybrid Forte also be shown at the Seoul motor show that opens on 2 April.


The company also revealed a hydrogen fuel cell version of its Mohave sport utility vehicle Mohave for the first time in Korea. The car is the first to have the fuel cell stack positioned in the floor of the vehicle. The hydrogen-powered Mohave has a driving range of 750kms and can achieve 160km/h (100mph).


According to the company, the core components used in the vehicle were developed indigenously, allowing the company to reduce materials costs by about half.