Kia Forte Hybrid Concept Revealed at SEMA

By Colin Bird  on November 1, 2010

Kia unveiled a slew of customized vehicles today at the SEMA show in Las Vegas and one of them was a unique Forte Hybrid Concept. The hybrid powertrain includes a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that operates on propane and is coupled to an electric hybrid system, which uses lithium-polymer batteries.

Liquid propane can be used to power internal combustion engines just like gasoline, but LPG spews fewer toxins and smog-forming pollutants into the air, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s also less expensive than gasoline.

The Kia Forte Hybrid Concept also features lightweight alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires. Exterior and interior updates include body panel enhancements and a lowered stance; interior updates include a 1,200-watt stereo.

The likelihood of a propane-powered hybrid coming to the market seems slim. There are currently no bifuel propane vehicles on sale and little infrastructure to support it. However, Hyundai did unveil a similar LPG hybrid system for the Elantra that featured lithium-polymer batteries two years ago in Korea, so it’s possible that the company is preparing the system for limited commercial or retail use here.

The lithium-polymer battery packs implemented on this concept are already used on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and likely the upcoming Kia Optima Hybrid.

For more detailed photos click below.

Kia Kia Forte Hybrids/Alternative Fuels SEMA