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Unveiled: 48-mpg Kia Soul Hybrid

Consumer Reports News: April 21, 2009 02:25 PM

Kia took the wraps off its Soul Hybrid at the Shanghai Auto Show (shown here). The car shown is said to look much the same as the concept unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, which had a 1.6-liter gasoline engine matched with a 20-horsepower electric motor and continuously-variable (CVT) transmission. A conventional hood replaces the transparent one shown in Paris, leading some to speculate the Shanghai car might be production-ready, or close to it. Kia claims fuel mileage will be in the 48 mpg range, aided by regenerative braking, automatic engine shut down, and restart at traffic lights. Despite online rumors to the contrary, a Kia spokesman said there are no current plans to sell the Soul Hybrid in the United States.

Read our Kia Soul preview.

Jim Travers

   

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