Hyundai’s Eco-Friendly Blue Drive Products and Technologies Shine at Seoul Motor Show


Hyundai Motor Company recently showcased a wide range of new eco-friendly Blue DriveTM products and technologies at the Seoul Motor Show.

The displays expanded on the Blue DriveTM initiative, first announced at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, which seeks to offer environmentally-aware customers with an eco-friendly alternative when it comes to purchasing their next Hyundai.

More than just a sub-brand, Blue DriveTM is an all-encompassing banner that defines Hyundai’s product development strategy. As the company strives to minimize the environmental impact of its vehicles, a broad range of new technologies will be introduced on current and future Hyundai models with the aim of achieving a harmonious balance between cars and the environment.

Leading the lineup of alternative propulsions systems is Blue-Will, a conceptual interpretation of Hyundai’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which promises a fuel economy rating of up to 45km/l, complemented by an array of innovative technologies.

Closer to commercial production is the Elantra Hybrid Electric Vehicle, the world’s first Liquid Petroleum-powered HEV. The use of advanced Lithium Ion Polymer batteries to power the car will also be another first for hybrid technology. With just 102g/km of CO2, it emits 90 percent fewer pollutants than a conventional gasoline-powered Elantra to qualify as a SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle). The Elantra LPI HEV goes on sale in Korea in July this year.

Also on display was the second-generation hydrogen fuel cell electric city bus. Emitting zero emissions and powered by hydrogen, it promises to revolutionize urban transportation.

The next major step forward for the fuel cell bus program will come in late 2010 when a fleet of these second generation buses will be put into daily service in cities around Korea, in line with the government’s recently declared “green growth” goals. Details of the second phase program are currently being negotiated by the various ministries, municipal authorities and bus fleet operators.

“The Blue DriveTM vehicles and technologies will challenge any assumptions that our technology is half a step behind.

The products and technologies we unveil to the world today offer a strong message of reassurance to our customers and stakeholders that we are moving with “Hyundai speed” to achieve our goal of environmental leadership in our industry and redefining the Hyundai brand as a technological innovator,” said Dr. Lee Hyun-Soon, Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the Hyundai Corporate Research and Development Division.

Hyundai-developed Blue DriveTM Technologies:

Double Clutch Transmission

To be applied on future mid-size vehicles, the next generation gearbox combines the best of both worlds: the fuel economy of a manual with the comfort and convenience of an automatic. Best of all, it retains the sporty characteristics and responsiveness of a manual for pure driving pleasure.

8-Speed Automatic Transmission

Hyundai is in the final stages of developing its own 8-speed automatic transmission which will be fitted to rear wheel drive luxury vehicles. The extra gears promise to improve fuel efficiency by 2~3 percent and enhance 60→100kph acceleration performance by 2~3 percent.

Engineers have eliminated the dipstick used to check automatic transmission fluid level, thus requiring zero maintenance.

Featuring four planetary gear sets, slip lock-up torque converter, aluminum carrier for reduced weight and compact single-piece case, the gearbox is filled and permanently sealed at the factory with a life-long low viscosity automatic transmission fluid which never requires changing throughout the life of the vehicle.

Development work on the transmission began in 2006 and despite the addition of the extra gears, the 8-speed automatic has fewer parts than the five-speed automatic it replaces and is also 10 percent lighter.

Continuously Variable Valve Lift

The next step in 2.0L engine aspiration introduces the new element of valve lift control which is used in conjunction with duration and timing control.

The net effect increases power by 5~6 percent while simultaneously improving fuel efficiency by over 5 percent while reducing exhaust emissions by increasing intake velocity and improving fuel atomization.

Gamma T-GDI (E85)

The 1.6L all-aluminum Gamma Turbo-GDI (E85) is a unique engine concept which is fueled by an 85:15 ethanol-gasoline blend that promises to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency while retaining the all-important fun-to-drive factor.

Compared to peak torque of 284 Nm @ 1750~4500rpm delivered by a gasoline GDI engine of the same displacement, the Gamma T-GDI (E85) delivers a 7 percent boost in torque while lifting power by 10 percent to 161 kW @ 6000rpm.

R2.2 Diesel Two-Stage Serial Sequential Turbo

Boasting the highest specific power and torque of any diesel in its class, this latest diesel offering demonstrates why Hyundai’s diesel engineering capabilities are second to none in the world.

Using a third generation 1800bar common rail injection system with piezo-electric injectors and a two-stage turbo, the R2.2 delivers 165 kW of peak power and comparably impressive torque figures: greater than 70kW per liter.

In terms of emissions, this engine achieves Euro 5 compliancy by employing close-coupled diesel particulate filter and highly efficient EGR cooler with bypass valve.

The R-Engine harnesses Hyundai’s newest and most advanced development tools. Computational flow dynamics, structural and thermal analysis were used to optimize its design while computerized simulation of the die-casting process was employed to achieve the optimal balance of strength and low weight.

The R is fitted with a 16–valve dual overhead camshaft which is driven by an internal steel timing chain. For reduced vibration and lower booming noise, the R gets a balance shaft that has been encased in a stiffened ladder frame housing for increased rigidity. Weight-saving features include a one-layer belt with isolation pulley, plastic head cover, plastic intake manifold and plastic oil filter housing.

A ceramic glow plug provides almost instantaneous starting in the coldest weather conditions.

U2 Diesel

Boasting a second generation high pressure common rail injection system which is capable of activating up to five injections per cycle, a variable swirl controls system, and electronically-controlled EGR cooling, the second generation U2 has been fully updated to satisfy Euro 4 and 5 regulations.

The U2 is capable of delivering 94 kW and 260 Nm of torque and emits just 119g/km of CO2 (i30), the best figures of any engine in its class. A close-coupled diesel particulate filter will be fitted to the Euro 5 version.

The U2 delivers an 4.8 percent improvement in CO2 reduction from 125g/km of the original U series to 119g/km in the new U2, an improvement in 80 → 120km/h acceleration performance by 5.8 percent to 11.4 seconds.

Noise levels on the U2 fall on the low limit of the scatter band. The U2’s oil change interval has also been extended from 20,000km of the U1 original engine to 30,000km in the latest version.

Recycling Technologies

At this year’s Seoul Motor Show, Hyundai exhibited several new examples of eco-friendly designs that reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and promote the use of recyclable materials in our vehicles.

The search for constant improvement in every facet of the operation continues, using LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) tools which have become an integral part of the vehicle design and manufacturing process.

LCA takes into account eco-factors in the decision making at all stages from design to manufacturing, ownership and disposal. By quantifying each process we are able to evaluate the effects on the environment and search for areas of improvement and thereby continually improving the percentage of recyclable parts.

In addition to the Blue DriveTM products and technologies, Hyundai added important new dimensions to the Hyundai brand with the introduction of the Genesis Coupe Racing Edition and the Genesis Prada Limited Edition.

Genesis Prada Limited Edition

Hyundai Genesis, the 2009 North American Car of the Year, has been reborn with an innovative design touch by Prada, one of the world’s leading luxury brands. Design development was carried out over a four-month period in a partnership between the Hyundai Design Center in Namyang and Prada’s Design Center in Italy.

The car has been transformed with surprising design modifications on the exterior — with a new sporty look and matte color finish while the interior has been reworked with exquisite “Saffiano” leather upholstery. The Prada Genesis is limited to three cars, two of which will be auctioned for a soon-to-be-named children’s charity.

Genesis Coupe Racing Edition

Korea’s first front engine, rear wheel drive racing machine designed for high performance drifting competition was showcased at the show.

Powered by a 2L TCI tuned and six-speed manual capable of producing 283 kW of power @ 6 810rpm and 507 Nm of torque @ 4 810rpm, the Genesis Coupe Racing Edition caters to the wide and loyal base of Tiburon owners and performance enthusiasts who are looking to join the fast and furious.

Exterior aerodynamic enhancements reduce drag and maximize down force while the interior has been minimized to the racing essentials, including seating for two in deep bucket style seats. Front and rear 240/640R18 rubber keeps the Genesis Coupe solidly glued to the road.

Blue Drive At–a–Glance

  • In the second quarter of 2009 Hyundai will bring the i30 blue to market – the first of its models to be offered with an Integrated Stop and Go (ISG) system, and the first to be launched worldwide under the Blue DriveTM standard. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009, the i30 blue achieves a significant seven per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to the ‘standard’ i30, improving efficiency in heavily-congested driving situations. The i30 blue is manufactured at the company’s new European production facility at Nošovice in the Czech Republic.
  • Hyundai plans to lead all automotive brands in the U.S. in fuel economy by achieving a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2015, five years ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) deadline, powered by the Hyundai Blue Drive global product strategy.
  • Hyundai will begin building a gas–electric full hybrid edition of the next–generation Sonata for the North American market in 2010. This Sonata will use a parallel hybrid drive system and lithium polymer battery technology – leapfrogging competitive in–market nickel–metal hydride and planned lithium–ion applications.
  • Near–term, high mileage “Blue” editions of Accent and Elantra will join the Hyundai Blue Drive family in 2009.
  • An all–new crossover, shown in concept form with a 2.0–liter Theta turbocharged GDI four–cylinder engine, is green-lighted for the U.S. market. The engine will appear in various Hyundai models in the future.