By on March 12, 2010


Volkswagen’s range of BlueMotion cars are their flagship “Look at us! We’re bluegreen!” vehicles. They employ techniques like a remapped engine, longer gear ratios and better aerodynamics to wring the last bit of mpg out of an ICU. The Blue Oval of Ford has the EcoBoost systems which are engines with a turbocharger or direct injection. That’s said to give power and torque on par with larger engine sizes, resulting in better fuel consumption and lower emissions. Daimler has its Bluetec, a slightly disgusting technology that requires overpriced urea to be added to your Benz – urea, as the name indicates, originally was a by-product of urine. (Now why didn’t the hyperkilometering AutoBild think of THAT?) Anyway, Hyundai wants in on the act.

Car Pages reports that Hyundai has four new vehicles in, what they call, the “Blue Drive” range. The vehicles adopting this will be the Hyundai i10 blue, the i20 blue, the i30 blue and the ix35 (you guessed it) blue. In addition to Volkswagen’s better aerodynamics, gear optimization, and rolling resistance tires schtick, Hyundai will also employ technologies like Stop and Go systems and a more efficient alternator to maximize the amount of energy generated during braking. They even resurrected the old spec racer’s trick of disconnecting the alternator when not needed. Gains you 2 to 5 hp right there. The engine will use a low friction oil to reduce wear and tear. What’s also unusual is that Hyundai won’t just be using diesel engines for their blue range: a small 1.0l petrol engine will also be available, increasing the chance that these blue cars will go to the land of red, white and …

The end result of all of this work by Hyundai engineers is to meet the EU mandate of lower CO2 emissions. The i10 (about the size of a Toyota Aygo or Ford KA) will emit 99gm/km, which will make it exempt from car tax in the UK. Curiously, the i20 blue (the size of a Ford Fiesta or Honda Jazz) will emit less than the i10 blue at 98gm/km. The i30 blue (the size of a Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus) will emit 98gm/km for the hatchback and 99gm/km for the estate version. The most impressive of them all will be the ix35 (which is a C-segment SUV model) which will produce 135gm/km, better than some C-segment hatchbacks.

Hyundai’s blue cars are slated for production at the end of 2010/beginning of 2011. Now, for the most pressing question: What’s with the worldwide infatuation with blue? GreenMotion, GreenTec and Green Drive probably would have been too obvious, I guess.

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7 Comments on “Hyundai Turns Blue...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    I read somewhere recently that marketers found that blue is the colour that people associate environmental issues with more. So while companies can say their product is “green”, it needs to have Blue in the title to have much effectiveness in terms of acceptance. Probably because green is used way too much now and so many companies say their products are green when they’re really not much different than the preceding product.

    Either way, Hyundai will do this and probably have a lot of success with it.

  • avatar
    niky

    Hmmm… that 1.0 petrol will likely be on the i10? Which is why it’ll emit more than the diesel i20. (looks at source article… yup… got it). Hyundai doesn’t have a diesel in that size… and it’s not economical to make them… it would drive the price of the tiny car up out of the target market’s budget.

    Wonder how much they can eke out of that engine? It’s a fine little car and engine, but not quite as fuel efficient as it can be in current trim. The engine is tuned for maximum verve per liter and the gearing is incredibly short, in order to use every last bit of power in that tiny four-pot.

    I see they’ve covered the mostly useless and cosmetic upper grille and have smoothed the body somewhat. Wonder how much underbody cladding they’ll be using?

    If the price for these blue cars isn’t much more (hopefully… it’ll be the same) than the base models, they should be a success. The big problem is that the biggest selling point for the i10 is the low entry price. Make it too expensive and you can get yourself into a more useful diesel subcompact with the same emissions and more utility.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Perhaps “green” reminds buyers that the extra cash they’re shelling out for the technology will not be paid back in fuel savings until several years of use, if ever. Much better results are obtained simply thru adjusting usage and driving habits.

    • 0 avatar
      geggamoya

      At least on VWs the BlueMotion cars are the cheapest or very close to the cheapest model, simply because they have the smallest engine with the least amount of CO2 produced. Same thing with Ford and their ECOnetic models. And Volvo with drivE. Probably will be the same thing with Hyundai too.

      Also, VW does offer petrol powered BlueMotion cars as well, at least the Golf with the 105hp turbo 1.2, and Scirocco with 122hp turbo 1.4.

    • 0 avatar
      Uncle Mellow

      Lower official co2 figures for green/blue edition cars mean the annual road tax is cheaper , tax paid for private use of company car is less , resale value is better etc. In Republic of Ireland the tax you pay when you buy the car is linked to the co2 output.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Only some of the MB Bluetec diesels use the urea, mainly the bigger SUVs. The smaller passenger cars generally don’t; they use a de-nox catalyst.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Blue is the new Green: Environmental respect, only with fiscal common sense instead of Al Gore fashion accessories. It’s a step in the right direction, if a very small one.


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