There are many types of plug-in cars; some makers go for battery electrics, others for plug-in hybrids or range-extended electric vehicles.

At the Geneva Motor Show yesterday, Hyundai unveiled a concept coupe showing how it might package an electric car offering a 75-mile range with a range-extending gasoline-powered generator to add another 360 miles.

The Hyundai i-oniq Concept is a sleek two-door coupe--the company calls it a "sports hatchback"--that evolves the company's "fluidic sculpture" design language by making the character lines and sweeping curves subtler and less dramatic.

The characteristic Hyundai hexagonal grille remains, but the headlamps sitting on top of the hood are remarkably restrained. Only the high tail--for better aerodynamics--marks this as a brand-new concept car.

Powering the generator is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, with an output roughly similar to that of the 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) electric motor that drives the wheels.

Hyundai now offers a production 2012 Sonata Hybrid, and has shown concepts for a plug-in hybrid derivation of that drivetrain, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered concept--and its sister company, Kia, is now selling small numbers of its Ray battery electric car in Korea.

It just shows, once again, that a modern global automaker has to place bets on a variety of drivetrains that blend electric drive, gasoline engines, and combinations of the two.

If we had to bet, we suspect this concept may be a hint as to a smaller, inexpensive coupe from Hyundai two or three years hence. Whether it will offer a range-extended electric drive is anyone's guess.

Meanwhile, what do you think of the lines? Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


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