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by Brett Davis

Hyundai recently launched its Blue Drive program for the Hyundai i10, i20, i30 and ix35 but it hasn’t been until now, at the Paris show, when the company has unveiled the environmentally-focused technology onto its anticipated new mini soft-roader, the Hyundai ix20.

The Blue Drive system is basically a range of new powertrain configurations consisting of very small diesel engines or a similarly small capacity petrol engine strictly designed with the environment, and your bank balance, in mind. There’s also a bunch of new initiatives that coincide with these engines, such as low rolling resistance tyres, Stop & Go technology, as well as alternator management.

In the case of the new Hyundai ix20 Blue Drive, it will get a 1.4-litre diesel expressing power and torque figures of 55kW and 221Nm. Using low-friction engine oil the engine is said to spin more freely compared with conventional engines, contributing to the overall emissions calculation of 114 grams of CO2 per kilometre. That’s not bad, especially for an all-wheel drive vehicle.

The engine and six-speed manual transmission are also linked up to Hyundai’s new Idle Stop & Go system (ISG), which switches the engine off once the car is stationary and fires it back into life once the clutch is depressed.

Also connected to the ISG system is Hyundai’s new alternator management technology. This technology places more load on the alternator during braking – maximising charge during times when engine performance is not needed – and then conversely, places less load on the alternator during times of acceleration – maximising initial performance.

These new technologies will soon be available on all Hyundai models which will be identified by the additional ‘Blue’ badging to the titles. The new Hyundai ix20 is scheduled to hit the market later this year, with the Hyundai ix20 Blue also scheduled for the same launch date.

Expect a full range of ‘Blue’ additions to every Hyundai model by the middle of 2011.




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