2009 Kia Forte LPi Hybrid To Enter Local Evaluation Trials

Tony O'Kane | Sep 19, 2009

KIA HAS ANNOUNCED that 50 Forte LPi Hybrids will be trialled around the world, with two cars expected in Australia for local feasibility studies.

Powered by LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and featuring a fuel-saving gas/electric powertrain, the Forte LPi Hybrid could form the basis for an ultra-frugal Cerato variant.

The Korean-market only Kia Forte LPi Hybrid uses just 5.6 litres of LPG per 100km on the combined cycle and emits just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

With the Forte LPi Hybrid's 1.6 litre engine tuned to run exclusively on LPG, the cost of keeping it fuelled up would be a fraction of the cost of a petrol-powered vehicle with similar fuel economy.

2009_kia_forte_lpi_hybrid_02

Taking power to the front wheels is a CVT gearbox. A stop-start system reduces fuel consumption in urban driving and a regenerative braking system charges up the on-board lithium-ion batteries during braking and coasting.

A drag-reducing bodykit cuts wind resistance and improves fuel economy as well.

The Australian arm of the Korean automaker is keen to see it in local showrooms, and hopes to start evaluating the model on our soil soon.

"As far as the Forte LPi Hybrid goes, we’re certainly interested in evaluating the car here before we go any further," Kia's Public Relations MJonathan Fletcher told TMR.

"We hope to be able to bring at least one car here before the end of the year for evaluation purposes."

2009_kia_forte_lpi_hybrid_01

Differences in the composition of LPG sold in Australia and that sold in Korea will likely be the deciding factor in whether or not we see a Cerato LPi Hybrid anytime soon.

"We'll be testing the feasibility of the vehicle for Australian conditions, including the engine's compatibility with Australian LPG," Mr Fletcher said.

"The proportions of butane and propane vary widely in Australian LPG, it's certainly something we need to be mindful of."

Uncertainty surrounding production of right-hand drive LPi hybrids is another potential stumbling block. The UK, Australia and Japan are currently the only sizable RHD markets that could potentially receive the vehicle.

Tak Uk Im, President and CEO of Kia Motors Australia, says there are no technological barriers to putting the LPi hybrid powertrain in a RHD Cerato, but a decision on whether there's a business case for such a vehicle has yet to be made.

However, with an extensive LPG distribution network and a motoring public not averse to gas burners, such a car would seem to be a logical addition to the Kia range in Australia.

The Forte LPi Hybrid evaluation vehicles are expected to arrive later this year, with trails commencing shortly thereafter.

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Filed under: hybrid, CO2 solutions, Kia, Latest News, 2009, Kia Cerato, LPI hybrid, Kia Forte LPI Hybrid, lpg, forte, LP gas, 2009 Kia Forte LPi Hybrid, News

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  • Peter says,
    5 years ago
    Great looking car and cheap to run.When can we get it?
  • Pitty says,
    5 years ago
    Couldnt agree more.
    its a good looker and will let me justify a fun car at the same time smile

    just hope the interior is similarly interesting
  • FrugalOne says,
    5 years ago
    1 like
    ^^^^^^^ As per the above, I WANT ONE! smile, like the BIG fella use to say "i'am excited"

    I am on my 4th LPG vehicle, i only like LPG, its "frugal" smile i believe in it 100% as a fuel for Australia now and forever , we don't need to import it, and its much cleaner, win x win.

    Lets see how DIEsel get smashed out of the park, 5.6L/100km @ 0.49cpl for LPG =

    ~ $2.75 per 100km or 2.75 cents per km

    World's lowest fuel consumption in a production car is the new generation & TINY and expensive BlueMotion Polo, 3.3L/100km on DIEsel fue 3.3L x $1.30 = ~ $4.30 // 4.30cents per km

    GAME OVER TDi, LPG wins by miles!, almost 2 cents per km less

    Average15,000km punter looking at a fuel cost of just $412.50, even less than reg/tac, now thats wrong, least tac give you $50 discount if you own aq hybrid like this.

    Go on KIA import it, it will run fine on any blend of LPG, after all your using Aussie exported LPG already in Korea.

    The ONLY issue will be the price, mid $20k's the Taxi industry would buy 1000's of them, let alone people like me.

    THIS is the car of the future, not silly overpriced electric and Prius types

    Cheers

    F-0

    PS/ MR. FLETCHER, HOW DO I SEND YOU A DEPOSIT FOR ONE?
  • Josh says,
    5 years ago
    PLEASE EXPORT TO AUSTRALIA.
  • Matt says,
    5 years ago
    I must admit this car is the first time I would consider buying a Kia. Doesn't look anything like a Prius (huge tick) yet kicks it's *** in fuel economy (and probably more enjoyable to drive too)

    I think the marketing dept would be more likely to compare to the Prius than the Polo though...

    Prius: 3.9L/100km x $1.20/L = 4.68c/km
    Forte: 2.75 / 4.68 = 59% of Prius cost to run

    I guess the marketing department would have the actor from Underbelly saying "... with sporty styling, rewarding to drive AND more than 40% cheaper to run than a Toyota Prius - now that's generous"
  • GP says,
    5 years ago
    Seems attractive on the surface.

    The above rant about LPG being better than diesel is pretty narrow-minded, and conveniently leaves out several important issues.
    The first is a long-term purchase should not be based on the LPG price today, since very soon it will have a steeply increasing excise added to it. The second is the non-availablity of Jerry Cans for LPG. LPG only Falcons are one of the most common vehicles seen on the back of a tow truck having run out of gas.
    • CAZZO says,
      1 year ago
      Seems attractive on the surface.

      The above rant about LPG being better than diesel is pretty narrow-minded, and conveniently leaves out several important issues.
      The first is a long-term purchase should not be based on the LPG price today, since very soon it will have a steeply increasing excise added to it. The second is the non-availablity of Jerry Cans for LPG. LPG only Falcons are one of the most common vehicles seen on the back of a tow truck having run out of gas.


      WHERE are these Falcons, never seen one yet, RACV says its not a issue, vehicle has ample warnings of low fuel

      LPG = WINNER

  • FrugalOne says,
    5 years ago
    @GP

    LPG excise will be a maximum of 12 cents in 2015?, tax is less than a 1/3rd what DIEsel and ULP are.

    At the end of the day LPG will alwayd be at least 1/2 the price if not more cheaper.

    If you run out of LPG on a LPG with a dedicated-LPG Falcon you deserve to be shot.They have a accurate trip-computer which starts going OFF big time at 80km DTE, i know i own one!

    The reason you see them on the back of a tilt tray [mind you i never have, only LandRovers] is a nonsense.

    PS You can indeed use a BBQ bottle tipped uptank, connected to your LPG taank if you run out, gives you 20/30km enough to get to a servo, taxi's do it all the time.

    LPG rules, end of story!
  • GP says,
    5 years ago
    If there is a massive uptake of LPG or LPG/Hybrid such as this car and the volume of petrol sold diminishes dramatically, the Gov't is not going to limit LPG excise to a figure "promised" by the long departed Howard. If you believe the LPG excise will be 12 cents in 2015, you would also believe in the fairy godmother.

    Using a BBQ gas bottle as a Jerry Can might be workable for an expert, but it is not an everyday solution to an empty LPG tank problem. To suggest this is a viable solution doesn't do you any credit. Ever seen an LPG fire? - if you had, you wouldn't suggest such a stupid solution as decanting from a BBQ gas bottle.

    There is a massive problem already looming for the Gov't coffers - all new cars now use FAR less fuel than the average AU fleet, which is seriously affecting Excise income, and will continue to affect revenue negatively for a while yet. LPG Hybrid, petrol hybrid, Bluemotion diesels, etc, etc only make the problem worse.

    When was the last time a Gov't was satisfied with a declining revenue? - the response will be to increase excise, I GUARANTEE it, on ALL fuels. Think otherwise? - good luck.

    LPG rules? - no, it doesn't - the Gov't rules - end of story.
  • Geo says,
    5 years ago
    How about some internal photos, tell us how large the LPG tank is, and the city mileage per tank full;

    ie some useful information and not just a rehashed pr piece dressed up!

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