Hyundai is preparing a dedicated hybrid vehicle to challenge the Toyota Prius, and our spies have managed to photograph it undergoing testing in Europe.
Like the world’s most popular hybrid, Hyundai’s Prius-fighter features a Kammback body that has been aggressively profiled to reduce aerodynamic drag.
The car also rides on a high-profile wheel and tyre combination. Although we can’t make out what type of Michelin tyres are being used, it’s safe to assume its of the low rolling resistance variety.
Although the development vehicle is clad in heavy camouflage, we can see that it wears Hyundai’s corporate trapezoidal grille with thin horizontal slats. There also seem to be vertically stacked driving lights built into the lower corners of the front bumper.
At the rear, Hyundai’s Prius-challenger has a set of horizontal LED tail-lights and, what looks like, a prominent boot lid spoiler. The front and rear corners of the car seem to be very sharply defined too.
Rumours indicate that the Hyundai hybrid rides on a version of the platform that’s being developed for the next-generation Elantra. Indications are that, under the bonnet, the car will feature a parallel hybrid drivetrain with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.
It’s expected the Hyundai’s take on the Prius will go into production some time in 2016. It’s said that a plug-in hybrid version will follow around a year to a year-and-a-half later. If sales go well, Hyundai may follow up the five-door hatch, seen here, with other body styles.