UPDATE: Larger image and press release added.

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Though not officially announced yet, the Hyundai i-Blue Concept will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, according to Automotive News. The i-Blue Concept is a hydrogen-powered exercise in being green and practical at the same time. It uses Hyundai's third-generation hydrogen fuel cell. While past Hyundai hydrogen concepts were SUVs, the i-Blue mirrors the trend of the day by sitting atop a new car-based crossover platform. No more news is available on the i-Blue Concept since Hyundai hasn't officially announced it yet. We don't know where Automotive News got the above image, and we're interested since the i-Blue may contain future Hyundai styling cues. Look for those on the vehicle's front end, as that giant C- and D-pillar combination at the vehicle's rear would make for one hellish blind spot on a production vehicle.

[Source: Automotive News]

PRESS RELEASE:

Hyundai Motor Corporation will unveil the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle at the 2007 Frankfurt International Motor Show which opens on September 13. The i-Blue demonstrates the company's commitment to developing environmentally responsible transportation.

Hyundai's new hydrogen-powered, zero-emission concept, the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle was developed at Hyundai's Design and Technical Center in Chiba, Japan. The all-new i-Blue platform is tailored to incorporate Hyundai's third-generation fuel cell technology, currently being developed at Hyundai's Eco-Technology Research Institute in Mabuk, Korea.

In keeping with this year's show theme, "See What's Driving the Future," which focuses on sustainability and climate protection, the i-Blue signifies a major step towards the commercialization of Hyundai fuel cell vehicles. Unlike its predecessors which were built on SUV platforms, the i-Blue features a new 2+2 crossover utility vehicle (CUV) body type.

"The i-Blue is Hyundai's first-ever model designed from the ground up to incorporate fuel cell technology, marking a tremendous leap forward for our R&D program," said Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee, president of research and development. "Our engineering team has successfully designed a more compact fuel cell vehicle, while still realizing the safety, comfort, convenience and driving range of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle."

Hyundai is making tremendous efforts to reach mass production of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles a reality in the next decade.


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