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Green Blue-Will

By Samantha Stevens, 26 Mar 2009 Features

Green Blue-Will

Hyundai's new hybrid breaks cover ahead of its hometown show.

Hyundai has revealed first pics of a new plug-in hybrid concept, the 'Blue-Will', which will be unveiled at Seoul Show on April 2.

Despite the fluffy name tag, the hybrid is a genuine advancement for the strengthening Korean company, incorporating its 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine and CVT with a 100kW electric motor and Lithium-Ion battery pack.

translucent solar cells scattered through in the panoramic glass roof give the battery extra charge.

Further green kudos is gained with headlamp surrounds made from recycled soft drink bottles, and plant-derived bio-plastics feature in the interior (polylactic acid) and engine cover (PA11 poly). Hyundai claims both are biodegradable, but there is conjecture over the breakdown of PA11...

The Elantra LPI Hybrid goes on sale in Korea in July this year, making the Blue-Will a realistic next-step showcase.

Apart from being Hyundai's first hybrid, the car will introduce new Lithium-polymer battery technology, and it runs on cheaper LPG, not petrol. LPG promises lower emissions than petrol and the new batteries are said to be more energy efficient, less costly to make, more resistant to damage and able to be charged and discharged more often than existing lithium ion batteries.

The car will at first be built only for the Korean market, but Hyundai has said export markets will follow.