Test mules of the so-rumoured Toyota Prius rivaling hybrid car from Hyundai have been in the spotlight since the first test mules appeared last year. According to a fresh report from Autocar, a forerunner to this vehicle will be unveiled at the 2015 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt as a concept study.
Following the debut of the concept version, the production version would complete development and go on sale by late-2016. Latest spyshots show a five-door, five-seat hatchback with a structural design similar to the Toyota Prius.
The hybrid powertrain’s combustion engine is the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol motor from the current i30, as per the report. The hybrid powertrain sends power to the front wheels via a new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The report cites Hyundai UK CEO Tony Whitehorn who suggested that the company’s interest is in introducing hybrid technology to the line-up in the way Toyota did – developing a hybrid car from the ground up. He said “probably the best way to do that is with a stand-alone model, as Toyota has done. Toyota started with the Prius and has expanded that range”.
The powertrain technology from this dedicated hybrid model will be used on future Hyundais. He said that “if you just restrict hybrid technology to one vehicle, you’ll never get the revenue. You have to put it in other cars”.
As the first dedicated hybrid car from Hyundai prepares to see the light of day, global hybrid market leader Toyota Prius is moving to fourth generation later this year.