The Koreans believe in the hybrid-technology. The proof of this is provided by Kia, who will launch at Geneva a prototype of a hybrid Rio. The car gets a 1,4-liter engine under the hood, that will be offered in combination with an electric motor with 66 lbs-ft.
Hyundai has announced last year that it will be adding hybrid vehicles to its lineup. Originally, the Kia Rio hybrid was set to launch in late 2006; however, due to currency issues, Hyundai has pushed back the development of their hybrid cars until 2009 - at the earliest.
Kia takes the project seriously: this year they will send on the Korean road network 4,000 models of the Kia Rio hybrid to do further investigation on this technology. The other car that may consolidate Kia-position on the hybrid market is the Cee’d. Here is a first picture with Kia Rio’s instruments in the upcoming Hybrid version.