Hyundai showcases futuristic vision and improved efficiency at Geneva 2010
The Hyundai stand at the Geneva motor show is set to be even busier than normal. In addition the newly-launched ix35 crossover, the company is revealing a host of new models and a stunning concept car.
i-flow – Hyundai's family future
Making its global debut at the Geneva Show, the Hyundai i-flow concept car carries forward the company's evocative new form language, ‘fluidic design'. The flowing, elegant lines not only create a futuristic shape, but also contribute to exceptional aerodynamics and help to reduce the car's CO2 output to just 85g/km.
Hyundai's first diesel hybrid powertrain is also a key factor in delivering such an environmentally-conscious performance, as is the application of next-generation materials and technologies developed in cooperation with leading chemical company BASF.
With an overall length of 4,780mm, a 2,800mm wheelbase, 1,850mm width and 1,420mm height give the i-flow a stance which is more akin to a coupe than a traditional D-segment saloon.
Despite the sporty stance, the i-flow redefines the perception of space. Fundamental elements, such as the seats and centre console, were crafted for minimal weight and volume using cutting-edge materials from BASF.
Under the sleek bonnet is Hyundai's first diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. It uses the exciting new 1.7-litre engine plus two-stage turbocharging linked to a Lithium Ion-Polymer battery to give a very efficient and advanced combination, particularly when partnered with i-flow's six-speed, dual-clutch transmission.
The i-flow is a test bed for new energy harvesting ideas, ranging from flexible solar panel roofing to a thermo-electric generator which uses exhaust heat to produce power.
The i-flow's looks and technology point the way to a new D-segment family car which Hyundai plans to launch in early 2011.
New look i30
In the shorter term, Hyundai is also bringing new style to the C-segment with a revised version of its i30.
Entering production in March, the new i30 incorporates a wide range of improvements in design, specification and competitiveness.
The i30 builds on the strengths of the current i30 range, to keep the model fresh and desirable. The new-look i30 does not stray far from the original design, and instead merely accentuates the car's aesthetic qualities.
The redesigned radiator grille and air intakes bring the i30 in line with Hyundai's new-style corporate identity, epitomised by the hexagonal frontal form. A reshaped, lower bumper and more angular fog light recesses continue the visual enhancement around the front end. The redesigned chrome garnish housing the Hyundai logo completes the more dynamic new look. The refresh carries on into the flanks, where extended side skirts and rear bumper add a sense of strength to the car's contemporary profile.
To complete the upgrade, the new i30 comes with Hyundai's ‘Triple5' package, including an enhanced five-year warranty with five year's roadside recovery.
Blue Drive takes i10, i20 and i30 under 100g/km
Hyundai has revealed its latest eco-focused Blue Drivevehicles. Four new cars have resulted from the company's leading-edge program: the i10 blue, i20 blue, i30 blue and ix35 blue.
The eco-friendly variants incorporate improvements in emissions without compromising performance, reliability or driver satisfaction, making Blue Drive models a realistic solution for modern motorists.
All employ the latest energy-efficient powertrain technology. The new, downsized 1.0-litre Kappa petrol and 1.7-litre U2 diesel engines, for example, are coupled with high-performance, low-friction engine oil, to considerably reduce driveline friction. Dual continuously variable valve timing, improved combustion efficiency, gear ratio optimisation, and engine control optimisation to increase engine efficiency.
A noticeable change from the driver's perspective is the application of a Hyundai-specific Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system. This cuts the engine when the car is stationary and restarts it when the clutch pedal is depressed.
With ISG, an alternator management system is added to maximise energy regeneration during braking and disconnecting the alternator when it's not needed.
It's not just the engines which are more efficient. To minimise drag, the Blue Drive models have improved aerodynamics and lower rolling resistance.
Under body panels have been installed on all models to smooth airflow under the car and certain models also feature reductions in brake-pad drag on the discs. Wheels are also fitted with low rolling resistance tyres, inflated to a higher pressure.
Through such innovations, engineers have succeeded in lowering the CO2 emission levels of the i10, i20, and i30 blue models to the sub-100g/km range.
The i10 blue, which goes into production at the end of 2010, employs a new and extremely efficient 1.0-litre version of the Kappa petrol engine, which produces 69PS at a lower rpm level of 6.200 rpm while generating 94 Nm of torque. By tweaking the aerodynamics and refinements to the powertrain, CO2 emissions in the i10 blue have been reduced to just 99g/km.
The i20 blue features the U2 1.4-litre diesel engine, designed and engineered at the R&D centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany, and produces 75PS at a lower rpm level of 4.000, while generating 220 Nm of torque. The power train is mated to the latest six- speed manual transmission. Producing just 98g/km of CO2 emissions, the i20 blue is scheduled to go into production in 2011.
The i30 blue uses the U2 1.6-litre engine, which produces 90PS at 4.000 rpm, while generating 240 Nm of torque. CO2 emissions of just 98g/km and 99 g/km for the hatchback and estate models, respectively, will save customers tax and fuel. Production commences in 2011 at the Nosovice plant in Czech.
The ix35 blue, which goes into production at the end of 2010, boasts an extremely impressive CO2 emissions figure of just 135g/km, positioning it not only as a rival to leading C-segment SUV models but also to C-segment hatchbacks.
Another ix35 on display has taken CO2 emissions from the exhaust out of the equation altogether. Theix35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, making its debut of the show, moves Hyundai another step closer to the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
The ix35 FCEV incorporates several important innovations over the previous generation Tucson FCEV. And with these improvements, Hyundai is set to meet its goal of ramping up production volume of FCEVs into the thousands by 2012.