Introducing the latest of what seems like a steady stream of green concept vehicles from Hyundai, the company unveiled its new i-flow hybrid sedan at the 2010 Geneva auto show on Thursday. Developed with the company's "Fluidic Design Philosophy", the i-flow's exterior lines yield a drag coefficient of just 0.25, which, in concert with the sedan's series-hybrid drive train is said by Hyundai to yield up to 78 mpg (presumably on the European testing cycle).
The i-flow is built around a parallel hybrid drive-train combining a 4-cylinder diesel engine with variable-boost turbocharger and an electric motor (whose specs have not been released) linked to a lithium polymer battery. Additional green-cred is provided by a roof with built-in solar cells, and a thermo-electric, waste heat recovery system that pulls energy from the exhaust.
Diesel-electric hybrids remain rare, although Mercedes and Peugeot are each developing one for the diesel-friendly European market.
According to Hyundai, although the i-flow is not currently scheduled for production, some elements of the cars design will find their way into a new -D- class sedan to be produced for sale in Europe in 2011.
Meanwhile, The U.S. is expected to receive the new Hyundai Sonata hybrid, which will be unveiled at the NYAS in April, for 2011. This will be only the third Mid-size hybrid to enter the U.S. Market (after Ford's Fusion Hybrid and the hybrid Toyota Camry), and the first hybrid from Hyundai.