Hyundai is already near the top of the fuel economy ranks in the U.S. market, but that's not enough to meet future requirements. Currently, Hyundai trails only Honda and Toyota in the CAFE race. Going forward, Hyundai plans to upgrade its powertrains and reduce mass to get its conventional vehicles to use less fuel. On the propulsion front, the Korean manufacturer plans to shift to direct injection with both normally aspirated and turbocharged engines. Sister brand Kia already showed the Koup concept last spring in New York with a gasoline turbocharged direct injection engine. That engine will likely appear in Hyundai and Kia production models in the coming years.
Lee Hyun-soon, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group's R&D boss told Automotive News that Hyundai will add six speed automatic transmissions to smaller and mid-sized cars and an eight speed automatic to the larger Genesis within two years. In addition to more efficient drivetrains, Hyundai will use aluminum, plastic and high strength steel to reduce the weight of its vehicles. While Hyundai is working on hybrids that are expected to start hitting the market sometime in 2009, Lee also said that the weight and cost of batteries means the company doesn't plan any full EVs anytime soon.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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