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Getting the Blues: Hyundai's Blue-Will concept will feature world-first battery technology when its goes on show at Seoul motor show.

Plug-in hybrid emerges from Korea as Hyundai unveils wacky Blue-Will concept

27 Mar 2009

IT SEEMS there’s no stopping Hyundai’s avalanche of new products, the latest of which appears to be the Korean maker’s first dedicated plug-in hybrid.

Apart from sending a clear signal that it has the world’s biggest car-maker in its sights by filling every existing market segment, Hyundai’s Blue-Will is designed to rival electric cars like GM’s plug-in Volt, due here as a Holden in 2012, and the equally futuristic plug-in version of Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which goes on sale in July.

Of course, while both the Volt and next Prius are a production reality, the Blue-Will is merely a concept that will make its global public debut at the Seoul motor show on April 2.

However, beneath its edgy, flame-surfaced five-door bodyshell lurks the same world-first lithium-ion polymer battery pack that will power the company’s LPG-fuelled Elantra LPI Hybrid, which goes on sale in Korea in July and is under consideration for release in Australia.

1 center imageIn the Blue-Will’s case, the li-ion polymer battery, which Hyundai says will make its first automotive application globally in the Elantra LPI, works in concert with an all-alloy 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine and also employs solar panels mounted in its panoramic roof to help boost the ground-breaking battery’s range.

Between the engine and battery pack, which is packaged with the fuel tank beneath the rear seat, lies a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which, with a powerful 100kW electric motor, completes Hyundai’s proprietary parallel hybrid drive system.

Of course, the Blue-Will also features some obligatory concept car talking points, in this case headlight bezels made from recycled PET soft-drink bottles, interior components produced from PLA plant extracts and an engine cover that was also formed using bio-plastics – this time bio-degradable PLA.

Stand by for further details on Hyundai’s plug-in hybrid when it debuts at Seoul.

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