Hyundai i-flow Concept
With a name like i-flow, it appears that Hyundai's latest concept would be a perfect complement to Apple's iPad.

While Toyota seems to be taking punches left and right from its ongoing recall for unintended acceleration and the resultant grilling on Capitol Hill, South Korea-based Hyundai continues its move upwards. The company has been rising in the quality/durability ranks over the past 10 years and has spent the past year revamping its entire lineup with the Genesis Sedan/Coupe; all-new versions of the Tuscon compact crossover and Sonata midsize sedan; and a new Elantra compact sedan which is coming next year.

Now the company is looking to keep the hits coming with its new i-flow concept. According to Hyundai, the i-flow provides a thinly veiled glimpse at a future European "D-segment" sedan which will do battle with vehicles like the Ford Mondeo.

The i-flow uses a brand new 1.7-liter turbodiesel engine paired with a Hyundai Blue-drive hybrid system. Hyundai has chosen to go with a lithium-polymer battery pack for the i-flow along with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. The use of a [now] traditional dual-clutch transmission is an interesting move considering that many mainstream hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Honda Insight uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to keep the gasoline engine in the optimum rev band to maximize fuel efficiency.

Hyundai says that the i-flow is good for 78.4 mpg on the European cycle.

It is unlikely that the U.S. will see the i-flow in its production form as we are already slated to get a hybrid version of the Hyundai Sonata later this year. However, with Hyundai's dedication to bringing fuel efficient vehicles to the market to meet new fuel economy regulations, it's quite possible that we may see the diesel-hybrid powertrain in future vehicles.

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