The hybrid race is on and nobody wants to be left behind.  South Korean automaker Hyundai is a late comer to the game, but is trying to play catch up with their newly released Elantra LPI, a hybrid version of their strong selling Elantra model.

The LPI hybrid  incorporates lithium-ion polymer battery technology supplied by LG Chem with the vehicle's standard liquefied petroleum powered 1.6 L engine.  It will be launched and available only in Korea where access to LP gas is common. The vehicle arrived in showrooms just in time as many were growing worried that Hyundai would lose out in the hybrid race.

Industry analyst Kang Sang-min said, "The LPI will show Hyundai has hybrid technology and help improve its image."

The LPI can travel up to 17.8 kilometers on one liter of LPG (42 MPG) and emits only 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer qualifying the vehicle for California's Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle status.

The initial sales volume is expected to be about 7,500 and the price range will be between 20.5 million and 23.3 million won or about $17,500.

The next hybrid model expected from Hyundai will by a gasoline based hybrid built off of the Sonata model.  It's expected to be released in the latter part of 2010.

Source:  Automotive News (Login required)