The Hyundai Blue-Will concept isn't entirely new; it first appeared last April at the Seoul Motor Show. However, it is making its North American debut next week in Detroit. What makes the Blue-Will special is that it is Hyundai's first ever plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The hybrid powertrain is based on the same Blue Drive architecture that Hyundai unveiled at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. This is a strong parallel hybrid system, meaning it's capable of driving the vehicle under electric power alone, use the internal combustion or a combination of both. The first production applications will find their way into the Korean market Elantra LPI hybrid and the Sonata hybrid that debuts late this year.
For the PHEV version, the electric motor/generator is increased in size from 30 kW on the Sonata to 100 kW, which should allow it to operate under electric power pretty much throughout its operating range. Hyundai doesn't say how big the lithium ion polymer battery pack is, however, the automaker claims the Blue-Will can go 40 miles on an single electric charge.
In addition to the hybrid hardware, which can provide start-stop capability for the engine and regenerative braking, the concept also features a thermal electric generator. This is designed to convert the heat energy of the exhaust gases into electrical energy to be stored in the battery. The engine is a direct injected version of Hyundai's 1.6-liter Gamma inline-four with 152 horsepower.
The concept has the same 106.3 inch wheelbase as the current Elantra Touring, but the overall length is seven inches shorter. According to Hyundai this concept "may" also provide a preview of a future dedicated hybrid to compete with the Toyota Prius, and if that happens, expect it to arrive sometime late next year.
Blue-Will Concept is the First Plug-in Hybrid from Hyundai
DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2010 – Following Hyundai's successful ascent to the top of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) report in December, the Blue-Will Plug-in Hybrid concept makes its U.S. debut at the 2010 North American International Auto.
- Blue-Will is the first-ever plug-in hybrid from Hyundai
- Four-seat sedan concept explores future design direction of compact cars
- Features panoramic glass roof with solar cells for recharging batteries
- Thermal generator converts hot exhaust gases into electricity
"Blue-Will's bold character lines and innovative design language give the perfect expression to the advanced eco-friendly technologies found beneath the skin," said Oh Suk-Geun, executive vice president of design, Hyundai Motor Company. "At a time of rising concern about the environment and our energy future, Blue-Will demonstrates to eco-conscious car buyers everywhere that Hyundai has practical hybrid solutions that will appear on the next generation of vehicles."
"Eco-sleek" was the core concept driving the design process. Its sweeping character lines and detailed form elevate this next-generation hybrid to an entirely new level. Blue-Will's slippery surface treatment extends to the underbody where a full-length cover has been applied to minimize aerodynamic drag while maximizing fuel economy.
The LED panel on the front expresses a highly distinctive, futuristic image. The rear bike rack, neatly integrated into the trunk, adds an extra measure of convenience. To minimize weight, advanced materials such as carbon-fiber reinforced plastics and nano composites have been applied to the side sills, moldings and fenders.
Recycled PET material was used for the headlamp bezel, and PLA and PA11 bioplastics have also been used on interior and exterior parts.
Thanks to the rapid advances in information technologies, designers had a completely free hand to redefine the interior of a compact car achieving a "digital flow" throughout the cabin. The conventional gauge cluster has been replaced by an ultra-thin Transparent Organic Light Emitting Diode (LED) display mounted on the steering column that is adjustable for rake and distance. Thin-film TOLED technology allows information to be displayed in high resolution color.
HND-4 designers designed the center stack with a simple and clean look thanks to high-tech touch-screen control technology which operates the HVAC, drive (PRNDL) selector and infotainment systems. The focal point of this display is the Eco-Coach. Eco-Coach graphically promotes fuel-saving habits by providing continuous feedback on fuel consumption and driving efficiency. Infotainment capabilities include Bluetooth-enabled speakers.
Hybrid Blue Drive Architecture
The Blue-Will concept is powered by an all-aluminum 152-horsepower Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 1.6-liter engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A 100kw electric motor is at the heart of Hyundai's proprietary parallel hybrid drive architecture. The wheels are turned by power coming directly from the gasoline engine, the electric motor, or both together, as conditions demand. This parallel hybrid drive architecture serves as the foundation for future Hyundai hybrids, starting with the Sonata hybrid coming later this year in the U.S.
For maximum luggage space, the fuel tank is located under the rear seat where it is neatly bundled alongside the Lithium Polymer battery that can be recharged using household current. Hyundai will be the first automaker in the world to apply Lithium Polymer in a mass production vehicle this July when the Elantra LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle goes on sale in Korea.
A further expression of the Blue-Will's design flexibility is found on its panoramic roof where the glass integrates dye-sensitized solar cells without impeding visibility. The solar cells provide a trickle charge that helps operate a cabin cooling fan, reducing interior temperatures while the car is parked in the sun.
Thermal Generator: Energy-Saving Innovation
Energy from hot exhaust gases is recaptured by a thermal generator which is fitted into the exhaust manifold. The thermal generator then converts the heat into electrical energy to help power auxiliary systems.
|Length||169.3 inches / 4,300 mm|
|Width||70.9 inches / 1,800 mm|
|Height||57.5 inches / 1,460 mm|
|Wheelbase||106.3 inches / 2,700 mm|
|Tires||245/40 R20 low-rolling resistance|
|Engine||1.6-liter Gamma 152-hp GDI engine /
100kw electric motor
|Transmission||CVT / fixed gear|
|Batteries||Lithium ion polymer|
(Pure HEV Mode)
(Plug-in HEV Mode)
|Vehicle Range||652 miles|
|Gauge Cluster||Ultra-thin transparent organic LED|
|Drive Selector &
|1. Exhaust manifold-mounted
2. Roof-mounted dye-sensitized solar cells
3. Regenerative braking
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 790 dealerships nationwide.