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Hyundai Blue Will at Seoul motor show 2009

Thu, 02 Apr 2009

By James Foxall

Motor Shows

02 April 2009 15:18

What’s new on Hyundai’s Seoul motor show stand?

The big noise on Korea’s best-selling car maker’s stand was its eco-friendly Blue Drive strategy and, more significantly, the launch of its first hybrid production car. The Elantra petrol-electric vehicle uses a 1.6-litre LPG-powered engine with power boosted by a 15kW electric unit. It goes on sale in summer 2009 and Hyundai UK could take the model, believing its 102g/km and 70-plus mpg will prove attractive to fleets. Elsewhere, the firm was rightly making a big deal of its good-looking Genesis saloon and coupe. The only SUVs present on the stand were hydrogen fuel-cell models, further emphasising the firm’s Blue Drive programme.

CAR highlight

The Blue-Will with its plug-in 30 kilowatt electric motor and 1.6-litre petrol range extender has shades of Prius about its front end but get used to it. It’ll be in production by 2012, though without the suicide doors at the back.

What were they thinking?

Having a matt black Hyundai saloon branded by Prada has to be one of the most unlikely brand alliances ever. And describing the firm’s Equus luxury brand as ‘true prestige’ seems a tad optimistic too.

In a nutshell

Hyundai has well and truly caught the eco bug. A Sonata hybrid goes on sale in the US and Korea at the end of 2009 and the firm is planning petrol-electric models throughout its range. Further to the hybrids on show, it’s also started an electric car programme with backing from the Korean government.

CAR's rating for Hyundai's stand: ****

By James Foxall