Following a year in which it was the fastest-growing and most aggressive automaker, Hyundai is now looking to become a leader in green technology, as evidenced by the Blue-Will concept.
Hyundai calls the Blue-Will a “test bed” for green technologies it’s developing. First and foremost is a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 1.6-liter, 152-hp gasoline engine and a 100-kilowatt motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. Theoretically, it could go 40 miles on battery power alone before needing help from the gas engine. Other technologies include carbon-fiber-reinforced bio-plastic body panels, a solar panel roof, and a thermal generator that converts heat in the exhaust manifold into electricity.
The Blue-Will also previews Hyundai’s new design language, which, in typically obtuse automaker lingo, is called “fluidic sculpture.” Featuring many wave-like, intersecting creases, it calls to mind recent Mazda concepts like the Nagare. This new design language has already influenced products like the 2011 Sonata, and will become more prominent on future vehicles.
That said, those future products won’t include the Blue-Will. This show car has no chance of making it to production in any form, Hyundai says, and serves only to provide not-so-subtle hints as to what technologies may appear on future green-vehicles (including a hybrid version of the Sonata coming later this year).