The big and official news from Hyundai at the Washington Auto Show this week was that a bunch of people went to the website for the Tucson Fuel Cell CUV. But as Michael O'Brien, the vice president of corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America, was announcing that bit of news, an off-hand mention of something more battery-powered caught our ear.
Word from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show was that dividing lines would form in the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, with Kia to focus solely on electric vehicles and Hyundai to develop plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.
Hyundai i10 electric – Click above for high-res image
It is codenamed "green baby," and it is Hyundai's answer to the Toyota iQ. A Hyundai Europe insider hinted that the car could be funkier and "more basic and functional" than the iQ. The iQ Concept had a pretty neat interior, but there really isn't much space between it and the backstop of basic transportation - at least, not when it comes to anything you'd want to sit in.
Lost in the jeers following Honda's move to cancel the NSX – a car it could probably sell based solely on its ridiculously wonderful exhaust note – is news that the Big H is planning an A-segment car for markets outside of Japan. Now that the microcar segment is what's cooking, and the smart fortwo isn't doing so bad on its American voyage, cars like the Toyota iQ, Volkswagen up!, and Hyundai i10 are getting lots of attention.
Hyundai i10. (The model that replaced the Atos) 5-door hatchback. South Korea. $9,096