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Hyundai Says It Can Reach US 2020 CAFE Requirement of 35 mpg by 2015; Hybrid Santa Fe Concept to Debut at Paris Show

Hyundai will introduce a concept hybrid version of the Santa Fe SUV at the Paris Motor Show. Hyundai says the prototype offers combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.2 L/100km (38 mpg US).

Hyundai Motor Company believes it will be able to meet the new US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 35 mpg by 2015, five years ahead of the federally mandated deadline of 2020. Hyundai Senior Executive Vice President Park Seong–Hyon outlined the company’s approach in a presentation at the SAE North American International Powertrain Conference in Chicago (3-5 September).

Hyundai plans on continuous refinement of its gasoline engines; the introduction of more sophisticated transmissions; the application of next–generation hybrids; and new technologies such Integrated Stop and Go. Turbocharging, gasoline direct injection (GDI), dual continuously variable valve timing and eight–speed automatic transmissions are among the other fuel–saving technologies that will be applied according to vehicle type and size.

Hyundai will highlight some of its approaches at the Mondial de L´Automobile in Paris in October, and at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, including details on Hyundai´s new Hybrid Blue Drive technology. Earlier this month, the company confirmed its plans to introduce a Sonata Hybrid with Li-ion battery pack to the US market in 2010, with the prototype to be shown in November. (Earlier post.)

At the Paris show, Hyundai will showcase a concept hybrid Santa Fe, as well as premiere the new i20 and a low-emissions i20 i-blue concept.

Santa Fe Hybrid. The Santa Fe Gasoline-Electric Hybrid concept maintains the overall design of the existing Santa Fe, but features a new parallel hybrid drive system which mates the current 2.4-liter Theta gasoline engine to a six-speed automatic transmission and a 30 kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. Projected fuel economy is around 38 mpg US (6.2 L/100km), with CO2 emissions of 148 g/km.

In November 2007, Korea-based LG Chem won an order to exclusively supply lithium-ion polymer batteries to Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors. (Earlier post.) Hyundai Motor also has formed an alliance with LG Chem, SK Energy and SB LiMotive to develop battery packs for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). (Earlier post.)

The i20.

i20. Set to be launched early 2009, the new i20 replaces the Getz and will be an important addition to Hyundai’s i-range. Designed at Hyundai’s European Design Centre in Russelsheim, Germany, the new five-door has a longer wheelbase than the existing Getz, and is both bigger inside and more dynamic in appearance.

Based on the all-new i20, the i20 i-blue concept is fitted with Hyundai’s new 1.4 CRDi diesel engine, which produces 89 hp (66 kW) and generates 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) of torque. To further improve economy, it drives through a six-speed manual gearbox instead of the car’s usual five-speed unit. The i20 i-blue has an estimated fuel economy rating of With a CO2 output of just 99 g/km and a fuel consumption figure of 57 mpg US (4.1 L/100km) and CO2 output of 99 g/km.

The i20 i-blue car concept incorporates a number of modifications, including full-length under floor covers, a 15 millimeter reduction in ground clearance, changes to the front and rear aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires and high performance, low friction engine oil.



I'm sorry but 35mpg by 2015?? Pathetic.


So will the i20 be available in the US?


CAFE 2020 is an F#ing joke.


@ gr:

Ditto. 2015-2008=7. In a country that put a man on the moon, that can create ballistic missile defense systems to shoot down an incoming missile in space, you mean to say that it's going to take seven years to get to 35 MPG? Are you kidding me?


No ejj, it's even more pathetic than that, they (CAFE) give you until 2020 to reach 35mpg. Hyundai is just saying that they will "only" need until 2015.

I'm more excited about the Sante Fe hybrid. 38mpg in a vehicle like this will fly off the lots. Ford better get it's Escape hybrid act together.


"CAFE 2020 is an F#ing joke."

It is a compromise in the Senate where there is no 60 vote majority and the opposition party wants NOTHING done.


If gas gets cheap again CAFE standards won't reduce fuel use by much. We need to phase in higher fuel taxes if and when oil goes much below $100/barrel. People don't conserve fuel or buy smaller vehicles for the common good. They do it to save MONEY.


trust me at the rate we are slurping you can dream about under 100 dollars a barrel


Posted by: JamesEE
> If gas gets cheap again CAFE standards won't reduce
> fuel use by much.

It's already cheap again - look at how truck sales have jumped back up now that gas prices have receded a bit.


no need to be rough on Hyundai, who are working on hitting the target in 2015. Not only is that 5 years early, but by making a big deal of it now, they're putting other car companies on notice. Some of those companies may step up their efforts to hit the goal early too.


Viva Hyundai (and probably many other Asian car manufacturers) for doing in 5 years what GM-Ford-Chrysler USA cannot do in 10 years.

No wonder that sales are shifthing.


Korea has never put a man on the moon and they don't have a ballistic missile defense system...oh you thought HYUNDAI is an American car company; Are you kidding me?


I think this is a great position for Hyundai to take and definitely put notice to other manufacturers, anything that increases the market pressure for more fuel economy is good.

Joseph Martin

As someone who currently owns a Santa Fe, this is great news. Most automakers can't even get a very light and small vehicle to get 35mpg, let alone a vehicle of this size.

An in comparison to an Ford Escape, the Santa Fe is actually larger than it, and making a non-hybrid that can top out the hybrid Escape is phenomenal.

As for phasing in higher taxes if oil drops in price, that is most stupid idea I ever heard. People have to realize that many people in the US can not afford to buy a hybrid vehicle yet because they don't have the money to do so. Creating an artificially high price for fuel by higher taxes makes it even harder for them to save money for such a vehicle. Furthermore, higher taxes would rob these hard working people of a decent quality of life, being that many are working two jobs already to make ends meet and hence drive more. Taxes on oil/gasoline are regressive by nature from the viewpoint of the consumer (either on the business or at the pump).

My suggestion is the lawmakers set a level of fuel economy to be hit by a certain date, and don't allow that company to sell any vehicles that don't meet that goal. You threaten the company with certain doom, and have the guts to stick to your convictions, then the company will surely fall in line.

My point is this, don't hurt the consumer because the politicians are either corrupt or spineless.

tom deplume

CAFE is just plain stupid. What is important is the total amount of fuel burned not the average per vehicle. If we improve the average by 50% but increase the number of vehicles by 51% in means the total amount of fuel burned still goes up. One way or another rationing is coming simply because the amount of fuel available worldwide is going to go down.


"An in comparison to an Ford Escape, the Santa Fe is actually larger than it, and making a non-hybrid that can top out the hybrid Escape is phenomenal."

Where did you get the idea that the Santa Fe was going to be a non-hybrid? Those high 30mpg figures are for the hybrid, the ICE only Santa Fe get dismal mileage. (17/24)

Joseph Martin

Steve, from how I read the story Hyundai is saying they can meet the 2020 CAFE standards. From how I understand CAFE, it applies to the whole class of the vehicle and not just one particular sub-model. For instance, once they have a hybrid they can't say "we hit the goal with this limited quantity hybrid vehicle, now we can forget about increasing ICE economy". Heck if that were the case, GM would bust their last EV1 out of storage and say they hit the CAFE requirement.

Further, from reading into the story (and from what I know from where I work, the largest international Tier 1 supplier) the hybrid is only addressing short term goals - think 2010 timeframe. By 2015 they appear to be on track for an ICE and drivetrain capable of delivering 35 mpg.

I fully agree with you on the current mileage of the vehicle, I wish it was a little better. I do rather good with my mileage (19/25), but I sure wish the pain at the pump got me a little further. If I didn't need to worry about needing a vehicle this size and 4WD, I would be driving in a nice white Prius. It looks so awesome in that color! Also the Volt is looking rather promising, I hope GM pushes the EREV platform accross their whole lineup. Another interesting thought is an EREV 18-wheeler with their whole trailer roofline covered in thin solar panels.


Sorry but isn't the Hybrid Santa Fe a friggin "Concept?" And how does a concept with 15 mpg LESS than a Prius garner anything but deep throated boos and hisses from green critics?

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