Hyundai ix-Metro concept – Click above for high-res image galleryHyundai returned to Frankfurt a far bigger player than it was two years prior. The Korean company has leapt up the sales standings to become the world's fourth largest automaker, eclipsing such major players as Ford and Honda. And its product line has long since expanded from diminutive hatchbacks to include crossovers and luxury sedans. What better way, then, to mark its newfound stature than to unveil... a diminutive hatchback/crossover thing?
Of course, Hyundai also unveiled the new ix35 Tucson, but presented along side was the automaker's vision for a compact hybrid. Called the ix Metro, it may be about the same size as the Geo that once bore the same name, but packs more curves and creases into the same plot of real estate than a linen mill. Curiously, Hyundai hasn't provided any details on the electric component of the hybrid drivetrain, but the conventional side of the equation boasts direct injection, variable valve timing and a turbocharger in a tiny 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, driving through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The interior looks like something straight out of Star Trek, but don't take our word for it, check it out for yourself in the gallery below.
Related GalleryFrankfurt 2009: Hyundai ix-Metro
Hyundai's Eco-Technologies and Products on Display at 2009 Frankfurt Show
Frankfurt, Germany, 09/15/2009
• ix-Metro, a daring new Hybrid Electric CUV
• i10 electric zero-emissions vehicle
• European debut of ix35
At the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show today, Hyundai Motor Co. unveiled two important eco-friendly cars in a display of its commitment to improve energy efficiency and to lower greenhouse gas emissions of its vehicles.
Making its world debut was the ix-Metro, a daring new Hybrid Electric CUV for the European sub-B segment. Emitting just 80g/km of CO2, the ix-Metro is powered by an inline three-cylinder petrol engine displacing just one-liter. Direct injection, dual CVVT, and turbocharging are combined with a six-speed dual clutch transmission to make for a highly potent compact package. It's the fifth in a series of concept cars to be created by the Global Design Team in Namyang, Korea.
The other global premiere was the i10 Electric, a production-ready zero emissions vehicle. Powered by a 49kW motor and a 16kWh battery, the i10 Electric promises a driving range of 160km and top speed of 130km/h. It features x-by-wire systems for steering, air conditioning, water pump and the brake vacuum pump. The i10 Electric will see limited series production start in Korea in 2010 for pilot fleet demonstration purposes with government ministries, utilities and related agencies.
In his address to the audience which gathered to catch the unveiling of the two concept cars, Hyundai Vice Chairman Euisun Chung said: "Blue Drive is all about bold new thinking, about listening more carefully to what consumers are saying and what they really want. Our declared goal is bold: It's to be the industry's eco-leader."
These and other new eco-friendly models were on display in the Blue Drive Zone at the Hyundai booth. The Zone also included the Elantra LPI Hybrid and the Blue Will Plug-In Hybrid Electric concept vehicle. The Elantra LPI is the world's first hybrid electric vehicle to be powered by liquid petroleum gas (or autogas). Emitting just 94g/km of CO2 (European combined mode), it's also the first production car in the world to be powered by advanced lithium ion polymer batteries. A new Blue edition of Hyundai's highly popular i30, designed in Germany and built in the Czech Republic, was another highlight of the Blue Drive Zone. Featuring fuel-saving stop-and-go emissions reduction technology, the ISG system contributes towards a reduction of 7% in fuel consumption and vehicle emissions on the official combined cycle, compared to the standard cars. Tests have revealed a drop in CO2 emissions of up to 15% in heavily congested traffic.
Visitors to the Hyundai stand at Hall Six in Frankfurt Messe were the first to get a closer look at the ix35, the European version of the all-new Tucson which made its debut in the Korean market last month. Designed in Europe and to be built in Europe, the ix35 is the first production vehicle expressing Hyundai's new "fluidic sculpture" design language. It's fitted with the all-new R 2.0 diesel and six-speed automatic transmission.
Also on display was the updated Santa Fe which will provide fresh momentum to the CUV sector. It is fitted with a 2.2 version of the all-new R diesel and comes with the option of the new six-speed automatic.
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group which was ranked as the world's fifth-largest automaker since 2007 and includes over two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Employing over 75,000 people worldwide, Hyundai Motor sold approximately 2.8 million vehicles globally in 2008, posting sales of US$25.6 billion on a non-consolidated basis (using the average currency exchange of 1257.5 won per US dollar). Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and showrooms. Further information about Hyundai Motor and its products are available at http://www.hyundai.com