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
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
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.
quote: While the car itself looks atrocious
quote: good for 78.4 mpg on the European cycle.