Hyundai Blue-Will Concept PHEV a Test Bed of Tech
In brief: Hyundai's Blue-Will Concept Plug-in Hybrid was on hand in Detroit, showcasing this test bed of future technology ideas.
Vehicle in the news
Make/Model: Blue-Will Concept
As Ross prected, 2009 seems to have shaped up to be Hyundai's big year. The little Korean company rose to prominence during a bad year for most automakers, taking second place as the wold's highest-selling automaker and debuting some radical concepts that were a definite turn from the company's usual conservative stance.
The Blue-Will was introduced last year as a concept in Seoul, Hyundai's home turf. It was considered unusual and compelling, and generated a lot of buzz, but most seemed to see it as strange mainly because it was coming from Hyundai.
The Blue-Will just made another appearance, this time in Detroit at the NAIAS, marking its first appearance in the U.S.
Filled with innovative new ideas, the concept car has roof-mounted solar cells, drive-by-wire steering, touch-screen controls, 40 miles of electric-only driving, and 106mpg in fuel economy. All from a decidedly sporty and muscular-looking coupe.
While its drive train is a dual-mode hybrid similar to the Chevy Volt, the Blue-Will most often runs in charge-sustaining mode (meaning the engine runes purely to send electricity to the motor).
Unlike the Volt, the Blue-Will incorporates an ingenious hot exhaust recapture system utilizing a thermoelectric generator in the exhaust manifold. This allows the vehicle to convert the engine's heat into electrical energy, greatly increasing the efficiency. This energy is mostly keyed for use in auxiliary systems such as climate controls and the stereo, saving drain on the lithium-polymer batteries.
Many of the technologies tested in the Blue-Will have appeared in other upcoming models for production, such as the 2011 BlueDrive Sonata.
And so ...
Definitely the car from Hyundai to watch, the Blue-Will is their future car test bed.
Photo credits: Hyundai
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