Hyundai, like practically every other automaker in Frankfurt, is showing off its green-wares. The i-Blue is the poster-child for the automaker's environmentally focused future, with a 100 kW motor powered by a fuel cell. Developed by Hyundai's Design and Technical Center in Chiba, Japan, the i-Blue's platform shares the concept's name, and will likely underpin future D-segment crossovers with a 2+2 seating arrangement.
The styling is certainly futuristic, with expansive front fenders, a dramatic fascia, heavily sculpted sides and a rear spoiler that culminates in a sharp point and houses a reversing camera. Inside, it's all flowing shapes, all the time, with plenty of space for its occupants and technology that only Data could wrap his head around.
All the details are available in Hyundai's press release after the jump, and we've assembled a gallery of live and press pics for your viewing pleasure.
The i-Blue Fuel Cell Concept
Concept Reveals Future Direction of FCEV Technology
Frankfurt, Germany (September 11, 2007) – Hyundai Motor Company's (HMC) new hydrogen-powered, zero-emission concept, the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), made its world debut today at the 62nd International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. Developed at Hyundai's Design and Technical Center in Chiba, Japan, the i-Blue concept is the designers' view of a future FCEV production model. 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.
Keeping with the show theme, "See What's Driving the Future," which focuses on sustainability and climate protection, the i-Blue demonstrates a significant step towards commercialization of Hyundai fuel cell vehicles. Unlike its predecessors which were built on SUV platforms, the i-Blue features a new D segment 2+2 crossover utility vehicle (CUV) body type. The smaller vehicle platform requires even greater engineering sophistication.
"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 tradition 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.
Powered By Third-Generation Fuel Cell Technology
The i-Blue is powered by 100 kW and fuel cell stack. Fueled with compressed hydrogen (700 bar) stored in a 115 liter tank, i-Blue is capable of running more than 600 km per refueling and achieves a maximum speed of 165 km/h.
The i-Blue's fuel cell stack is housed underfloor, not in the engine compartment as in the second-generation Tucson FCEV. This endows the car with an ideal 50:50 weight distribution for optimal driving and handling dynamics. Furthermore, by moving the fuel stack underfloor, the engine compartment is less densely populated providing better air flow and cooling. The i-Blue drives almost noiselessly and passionate drivers will be delighted by the acceleration of the i-Blue's powerplant. Like its predecessors, i-Blue's only emission is water vapor, fueling Hyundai's unwavering dedication to FCEV technology as a viable, environmentally friendly alternative to the internal combustion engine.
The i-Blue is a sophisticated and futuristic crossover concept sports tourer with the driving comfort of a sedan with all of the utility functions of a minivan. As its name suggests, the i-Blue has a next generation environmental-friendly fuel cell system. But, it also is equipped with a state of the art human machine interface information system presenting a glimpse into the future of automobiles. Unlike its predecessors, which were built on SUV platforms, the i-Blue features a new D segment 2+2 Cross-over Utility Vehicle (CUV) body type. This marks a step ahead on the path to develop mass-production models, as the fuel cell system is more difficult to integrate in a smaller body type.
Design Concept Unites Ying and Yang
The i-Blue FCEV has a dynamic and elegant exterior design, resembling TaeKuk, which is based on the philosophy of Ying and Yang. In this philosophy, opposite forces are unified in perfect balance and create something new. The i-Blue's body was styled by unifying two distinct geometric forms, the square and the circle, thereby creating a rhombus-like shape.
High Technology Meets Passenger Comfort and Safety
The i-Blue features a futuristic H2O flow-form on the inside, which results in a relaxing, stretched-out seating position for the driver and passengers. Drivers of the i-Blue will be excited about the innovative, aircraft-like steering wheel that integrates touch-scroll control pads, enabling the driver to keep his hands on the wheel while operating the vehicle's audio-visual systems. The 3D vision heads-up display (HUD) also adds safety and convenience. The outside environment is constantly projected through the vehicle's full-surround camera system. Many more future convenience features from Hyundai, such as side and rear view monitors, are shown on the i-Blue concept vehicle.
As a crossover utility vehicle combining the strongest points of both a Sedan and a RV; and incorporating a design motive from the traditional beauty of Korea, the i-Blue has opened a new vehicle category.
From the bonnet to the front fender, A-Pillar, Cabin and rear fender, the i-Blue's seamless cab forward type of surface provides a perfect form balance. From the TaeKuk theme of volume and surface in harmony, the character lines of the front and rear fender make for a sharp looking exterior body.
The image of the front mask is similar to the design image of the Hyundai "Genesis" concept car, presenting the direction for future designs.
The radiator grille and headlamp have been expressed as a crystal glass art to depict the water from the fuel cell system and, the power and dynamic image of the rear takes the shape of the horizontal and vertical form from the wings of an airplane.
Cameras have been installed in the head lamp, rear combination lamp and high mountain lamp helping to realize a functional and high-tech design. The lamp system in the rear combination lamps have been designed to associate the beautiful and bright stars in space
The i-Blue features a futuristic H2O flow-form on the inside, which results in a relaxing, stretched-out seating position for the driver and passengers. Drivers of the i-Blue will be excited about the innovative, aircraft-like steering wheel that integrates touch-scroll control pads, enabling the driver to keep his hands on the wheel while operating the vehicles audio-visual systems. The 3D vision head-up display (HUD) also adds safety