Kia is wasting no time in building buzz for its next high-profile concept, which will debut at the Chicago Auto Show on February 11. While facts are few for now, this intriguing teaser image of a four-door one-off called the Kia Ray Concept reportedly shows design and packaging paths the automaker is seriously considering for a future production plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV).

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Penned at the Kia Design Center America in Irvine, California, the Ray clearly embodies a far more aggressive approach to eco-sedan styling than anything we've yet seen from the Kia -- or virtually anyone else. Even in this less-than-totally-revealing glimpse, its sweeping contours, flowing roofline, prominent glass areas and bold approach to at least the rear lighting elements indicate that the Kia Ray Concept will be one to watch when the auto industry blows into the Windy City next month. It's still too soon to know exactly how much of the Ray's show car looks and PHEV hardware are destined to see true production status, but if reality comes anywhere near to living up to possibilities portended in this shadowy sneak peek, the future seems to bode well for Kia's first journey down the plug-in highway.

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