If ever you wanted to back a car company on the up and up, it would have to be Korean Industrial giant Hyundai. Just look at the new Hyundai i-flow concept.
Ever since they released the first i30 model in 2007, Hyundai has been on a steep climb and they haven’t looked back.
Their secret is simple. Produce quality cars, which are best in class in terms driveability and equipment, and price them slightly below their closest competition. It’s a win for them and a win for their customers, many of who would buy another Hyundai in a heartbeat.
And there’s no stopping the onslaught of new Hyundai models. Inbound this year to Australia is the just released ix35, which by all accounts, will be a bigger hit than the i30.
Then comes the i20 along with a host of other possibilities later this year. It seems they can do no wrong when it comes to producing vehicles that quickly find traction amongst a wide range of new car buyers.
It’s the same story with the iMax and iLoad, if you don’t see several of these vans every day, then you’re probably getting around with a white cane in which case, you can be excused.
At the massive Frankfurt Motor Show last year, Hyundai had one of the busiest stands with several futuristic designs, which I was told were already in limited production in Korea.
The ix35 and ix55 were two such vehicles along with the ix-metro and Blue-Will concepts.
And it’s no different at Geneva right now with Hyundai revealing the killer looking and ultra low emissions vehicle, the i-flow concept.
That’s a CO2 output of 85gr/kilometre while burning just 3-litres per 100km.
The good news is the i-flow is powered by a diesel hybrid, the first for Hyundai, as is much of the interior trim, which is mostly a combination of next-generation materials from the innovative German chemical company, BASF.
It’s also about minimal weight and maximum space, and the i-flow performs in both areas.
Take the seats for example. These have been designed with BASF using advanced stress analysis, which removed unnecessary mass to form a comfortable lightweight design.
The main dashboard is sprayed with an Elastoskin, another BASF product that provides a top end look with a shimmering finish.
It’s ultra environmental too with the roof containing semi-transparent dye-sensitised solar cells.
The cockpit is really one giant interface accessed via touch or hand movements.
Ingress and egress is via a unique pillarless door system, which sees the rear door opening and then sliding backwards on a rail system, while the rear seats swivel through 30 degrees, making things even easier.
The diesel electric hybrid utilises a 1.7 litre diesel powertrain boosted by two-stage turbo charging and Hyundai’s own Lithium Ion-Polymer battery mated to a six-speed, twin clutch transmission.
There’s also a thermal electric generator, which converts spent heat into electrical energy, which in tern, powers various electronic systems on board.
And don’t worry about the paint job, that’s covered by liquid metal, which gives the appearance of a wet glossy skin also developed by BASF.
And my guess is you’ll love the in-dash eco-driving guidance, which is set up to provide ultra efficient motoring with fuel consumption and gear shift indicators.
The eco-route guidance will monitor real time traffic conditions and use three-dimensional road data to find the most efficient way of reaching your destination.
Watch out Prius!