Monday 30 May 2011

Hyundai planning Prius rival for 2013

2009 Hyundai Blue-Will Concept sketch
Hyundai is hoping to launch a Prius rivalling plug-in hybrid by 2013. The vehicle will essentially be a production version of the 2009 Blue-Will concept, which is powered by a direct-injection 1.6 litre GDI petrol engine that is mated to a continuously variable transmission and a 100kW electric motor.

“We plan to launch a plug-in hybrid model which is in the same segment as the Prius in 2013,” said an unnamed source.

The upcoming plug-in hybrid will utilise a similar set-up as the Sonata Hybrid and will use technology similar to that of the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in. Despite both models using different systems, they rely on strong lithium-ion batteries to power the vehicle for a set range before a petrol engine takes over to either function as a generator, as it does in the Volt, or provide propulsion aid as it does in the Prius.

With the marque already launching several 40mpg models, Hyundai has its sights set on the 50mpg target by 2025, in which the forthcoming model will spearhead. Hyundai sources say an unnamed model will premier at the 2011 New York motor show.

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