Hyundai is taking the Frankfurt Motor Show by storm with two world debuts and multiple existing models remade for the future. The headliner for Hyundai’s Frankfurt presentation is the i10 Electric, an all-electric coupe intended initially for government agencies, businesses and utility companies. The i10 Electric features a 16kWh lithium-ion battery and 49kW electric motor, adding some zip to this diminutive vehicle. Hyundai states that the i10 Electric can reach 81 miles per hour and travel 99 miles on a single charge.
The second world debut made by Hyundai at Frankfurt is the ix-Metro, which is set to hit the South Korean market by 2010. The ix-Metro is a hybrid-electric compact utility vehicle (CUV) featuring a 1.0-liter turbocharged gas engine with a continuously variable transmission and a six-speed transmission. Hyundai is focusing on the European market with the ix-Metro by keeping carbon dioxide emissions below standards set by the European Union.
Hyundai is dusting off a pair of Blue Drive vehicles premiered earlier this year in Seoul for the benefit of European drivers. The Hyundai Elantra LPI Hybrid owns the distinction of being the first production vehicle to use advanced lithium-ion polymer packs. The Elantra LPI Hybrid is also known as the first hybrid vehicle to be powered primarily by liquid petroleum gas (LPG). The Blue Will Plug-In HEV shows the versatility of Hyundai’s design team by blending propulsion systems of the future with the designs of the present.
The remainder of Hyundai’s presentation at Frankfurt features new looks at previously presented models. The i30 is back with a Blue Drive system, engine shut-off feature and efficient drive train to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Hyundai is presenting a diesel version of its Santa Fe SUV complete with six-speed automatic transmission and all of the comforts of the original model. The automaker is also packaging a European take on its ix35 with a diesel engine and a six speed auto transmission.
It would be too easy to say that Hyundai is throwing out a bunch of models to hedge its bets on future developments. By throwing out LPGs, hybrid electrics, diesels and other models at Frankfurt, Hyundai is simply showing its ability to design multiple vehicle types at the same time. The Frankfurt Motor Show should vault Hyundai into contention with automakers like Nissan and Toyota as long as they can turn prototypes into reality. As long as the ix-Metro and other models roll off production lines soon, Hyundai’s 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show will be a promise rather than a pipe dream.