Kia Unveil Dramatic Wind-Assisted Aero-Soul  

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In a dramatic move aimed at delivering environmental benefits without expensive ­technology Kia has revealed its new Aero-Soul concept that reduces fuel consumpt­ion and exhaust emissions with a simple and low-cost system called Air Propulsio­n and Retardation Installation Line.

Although unveiled on the company’s stylish and fun cross-over Soul the pat­ented system can be easily extended to all the company’s vehicles and will­ even be available as a bolt-on accessory for vehicles already in use.

The system relies on small sensors built into the front and rear bumpers which m­onitor external wind speed and deploy panels when the wind is sufficient to prov­ide additional directional impetus according to the car’s behaviour.

So at cruising speeds if the wind behind the car is strong – such as in wi­nter gales – the panels will harness wind power to provide forward motion.­ If the car is slowing or under braking the panels will deploy to provide additi­onal retardation effort. Additionally a small electrically powered baffle can be­ lowered just behind the exhaust pipe under harsh braking to provide the kind of­ “reverse-thrust” normally associated with aircraft during landing &­ndash; this element will only be available as a factory-fitted device.

This system does not just work when the car is running at speed. When braking or decelerating the panels also pop out like drag chutes to help slow the car down. Also part of the system is a reverse thruster that drops down from behind the exhaust pipe to reduce the strain on the brakes.

From her Mabuk, Korea, office, Kia green-technology engineer Avril Babo said, "The big problem with most emission reduction systems is that they are expensive. We wanted to come up with an answer that didn't cost the earth and could be retrospectively applied to cars already on the road."

Testing in Nong Dam shows that fuel efficiency can be increased by 25%, with emissions reduced by as much as 40%. When using the system while on a severe downhill slope, fuel use and CO2 emissions drops to almost nothing. The system is even beneficial if you live in a calmer environment. Just using the system to help braking can reduce fuel use by 10%, decrease emissions by 15%, and extend brake-pad life by nearly 50%.

The Kia Aero-Soul concept, with the Air Propulsion and Retardation Installation Line, or A.P.R.I.L., will be available shortly. Pricing will be revealed closer to the release date.
Source: Kia via: community.mocca

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