Two more 40-mpg cars will arrive from Hyundai in the “next couple of years.” This comes from an executive interview conducted by Inside Line at the 2011 New York Auto Show. What is even more interesting is that one of those 40-mpg cars that Hyundai has confirmed will be moving to production is the Prius competitor—a car that we believe will be based on the Blue-Will Concept shown at the 2009 Seoul Auto Show. The second car to reach 40 or more mpg the executives from Hyundai declined to reveal.

Hyundai Blue-Will Concept

Hyundai Blue-Will Concept

Hyundai Blue-Will Concept interior

Hyundai Blue-Will Concept interior

If you are having trouble remembering back to 2009 and are unsure of the Blue-Will Concept details, let us help refresh your memory. The Blue-Will Concept was a hatchback styled car with a 1.6-liter engine, continuously variable transmission and a 100kW electric motor. From a battery perspective, the concept car is outfitted with a lithium-ion polymer battery pack. When it comes to the name, we hope they don’t stick with Blue-Will, but we can’t shed any light on it because the executives at Hyundai declined to comment on that too. However, they did give us a little more on the future direction of the company.

The strategy of further developing the internal-combustion engine, with significant increases in fuel economy, is where we see the market going," the executive said. Hyundai Motor America added to that by saying, “In addition to the new Sonata Hybrid, Elantra, Veloster and Accent, Hyundai will introduce one more 40-mpg highway car and another achieving 40+ mpg in the next couple years. These additional models will further the company's 40-mpg highway sales volume growth as it steams toward its stated goal of an EPA fleet average of at least 50 mpg by 2025."

Bottom line—keep an eye on Hyundai and Kia. These two brands are bringing good designs, engineering and value to the automotive market. They are also on a path similar to the largest and most successful American automotive maker—Ford. The competition is definitely on.

 

[Source: Inside Line]