A month after Hyundai unveiled the 2012 Elantra Touring (known as the i30 in other counties), Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Korean automaker is working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the compact hatchback for the European market.
Citing anonymous company sources, the publication claims the compact is being developed to compete directly with the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, due to go on sale in the U.S. early next year.
There are no more details given, although we’d like to think that Hyundai would undercut the sticker price of the Toyota’s base-model 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid--which comes in at $32,780--to give it a marketing edge against the world’s most famous hybrid automaker.
For gas mileage, what can we expect from a potential Hyundai Elantra Touring Plug-in Hybrid? Let’s look at the numbers.
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra Sedan manages EPA fuel economy ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring is considerably lower, at 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, but it's a stopgap model carried over from the previous Elantra generation and likely to be updated for 2013.
Bearing those figures in mind, we think adding a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to the Elantra Touring should give it an overall average fuel economy of 45 to 55 mpg.
But before you get excited, bear in mind that we’re dealing with rumors here, not concrete facts. And Auto Motor und Sport’s story deals directly with Hyundai’s Euro-market i30, not the U.S. Elantra.
Will we see an Elantra Plug-in Hybrid? Would you buy one? Let us know in the Comments below.