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Hyundai Nuvis Concept Powered by Hybrid Blue Drive Architecture

The Hyundai Nuvis. Click to enlarge.

Hyundai introduced its Nuvis concept crossover vehicle at the New York International Auto Show. The Nuvis, which Hyundai said hints at future-generation crossover design that blends attributes of a tall urban car and a premium utility vehicle, is powered by Hyundai’s Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, with lithium polymer battery technology from LG Chem. (Earlier post.)

Hyundai’s proprietary parallel hybrid drive system mates the 2.4-liter Theta II gasoline engine to a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 30 kW (205 Nm) electric motor. Hybrid Blue Drive has an all-electric mode and a parallel drive mode. This parallel hybrid drive architecture will serve as the foundation for future Hyundai hybrid drive vehicles, starting with the next-generation Sonata in the United States. (Earlier post.)

The nine major components of Hyundai’s Hybrid Blue Drive include:

  1. 30 kW electric motor, delivering 205 Nm of torque
  2. Regenerative braking system
  3. Integrated starter generator that enables the engine to turn off at stops and restart automatically under acceleration
  4. 5.3 Ah, 270V Li-ion polymer battery pack
  5. Optimized Theta II 2.4-liter engine
  6. 6-speed automatic transmission with an improved-efficiency electric oil pump
  7. Weight-efficient architecture coupled with a low drag coefficient
  8. Electric air conditioning compressor
  9. Hybrid power control unit

To maximize fuel economy, all of the Theta II’s major driveline and cooling system components have been optimized to reduce friction, while the crankcase has been filled with low friction oil. To further reduce fuel consumption, the Theta II’s engine management software, which governs injection pressure, engine cycle timing and exhaust retreatment rates, has been revised. This control strategy assures that maximum efficiency is achieved during gentle acceleration, while greater power is immediately available during full acceleration.

To ensure that the engine runs at lower RPMs, the top three gear ratios in the transmission have been extended. Fuel economy is further optimized through the latest electric motor-assisted steering system which reduces power drain and low resistance tires.

Estimated fuel efficiency for the Nuvis is 34 mpg US (6.9 L/100km) city / 35 mpg US (6.7 L/100km) highway.



It seems that an American Style 35+ mpg vehicle will be available much soon than expected and/or mandated.

Will the local Big-3 follow with a competitive unit?

Should the mandate be upgraded to 45+ mpg?

Will S

Yes. If a cross-over can get that, a normal car should get much better.


I drive a 5-passenger car (with adult kneeroom in back, plus a cavernous trunk) in which I regularly achieve 35+ MPG on a tank.  With the proper drivetrain changes, I'm sure the same chassis could achieve upwards of 45 MPG without hybridization.  So yes, 45 MPG should probably be the minimum for that class of vehicle.

Justin VP


The big 3 already have a comparable unit. If this concept were to run through acutual tests, I bet it doesn't out-perform an Escape Hybrid. The numbers are pretty close.

Escape is a good vehicle, but unfortunately few are buying them in this economy and with our low gas prices right now.


Justin VP

I agree with you about the Ford Escape Hybrid. My neighbour has one and it performs very well. Fuel efficiency could be improved with a lighter more aerodynamic body and a large quicker recharge battery. Something like 45 mpg for large HEVs and 55 to 60 mpg mid size car HEVs will be around soon. By that time, PHEVs will get 100+ mpg.

The current world reccession has lowered oil consumption by almost 3%. Future mass produced HEVs, PHEVs and EVs will have much more impact and we may not see 86+ million barrels/day for a very long time.



My wife's 4 cyls Camry does up to 35 mpg on highways at a steady 100 Kph. However, it drops to about 30 mpg and even less at higher speeds (120+ Kph). A 7-speed transmission could help to get another 4 to 5 mpg.


Engineer-poet, can you please tell us the make and model of this miracle vehicle that you describe?


2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

2.5L I4 153 HP 34 / 31 mpg

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2.5L I4 156 HP 41 / 36 mpg

The Fusion gets better city mileage.
They are not on dealers lots here yet.


Jim:  Volkswagen Passat TDI, 4-door, 5-speed auto.

Of course, I am very good at hypermiling unlike so many of the people I see.  People around me seem to want to rush up to red lights while I'm coasting in neutral.  It's as if they believe they can make the light turn sooner if they bully it or something.


Putting an automatic in neutral while moving will ruin your transmission.


Not right away, of course, but it will happen.


And how does it do that, exactly?  (107,000 miles and counting.)

Andrey Levin


Putting trans in neutral immediately drops engine RPM to idle speed, when injection of some amount of fuel is required to maintain said idle. Simple coasting with AT engaged in drive slows car a little bit, but keeps engine RPM higher than idle down to about 20 km/h, and thus engine does not consume fuel at all. Plus diesel engine has very little engine braking effect.

Very simple hypermiling technique in mountain terrain is step on gas while going uphill (care should be taken for not to provoke downshift of transmission), and then coasting downhill with AT engaged in “D”, with slightly decreasing speed, down to the moment you decide to step on the gas. I routinely manage to have lower fuel consumption on mountain road over plain terrain highway. It is also reduces you chances for speeding ticket (cops usually caught you when you are downhill).

Synthetic engine oil also makes coasting feels like you are in neutral anyway.


And exactly how does any of that destroy your transmission?

My experience is directly opposite to your claims.  The TDI engine consumes much less fuel at idle than it does when spinning at road speed (confirmed by trip computer), and the engine generates considerable drag as well.  Worse, the transmission controller sets a minimum RPM that is well over idle speed, forcing an aggressive downshift schedule which causes considerable braking whether it is desired or not.  To top this off, the transmission doesn't even unlock the torque converter until it gets down to 3rd gear.  My Taurus, a car 11 years older, unlocked the converter as soon as the throttle was lifted in any gear.

The only oil I've ever used in this car is synthetic; I learned that lesson about 330,000 miles ago.

Converter unlock, neutral idle and neutral coasting are not new.  All of this could have been fixed in advance with decent design and software, but it wasn't (perhaps because of patent issues).  Regardless, coasting in neutral is an essential part of hypermiling in my car.

Andrey Levin

Well, EP, apparently different cars are tuned differently. Mine with gasoline and AT, immediately unlocks torque converter when I step off gas, engine RPM immediately drops by 500-700 RPM, and fuel injection stops completely. I have tachometer and digital fuel ratio display, so I can see when and what is happening. Fuel injection commences when RPM drops to about 1000 RPM (idle speed is 800 RPM).


Different cars act differently. Late 90s full size Fords unlock the torque converter on coast which means the vehicle has less engine breaking, but actually fuel is not stopped (unless speed is increasing), so fuel burn is 20% higher (to avoid lean misfire) and coasting is slightly “braked”.

Most older vehicles save gas by coasting in neutral.

If injectors are shut off, it offsets engine breaking and the difference between coasting in neutral or in OD is probably small and probably depends on the OD gear ratio.

Coasting is supposedly a bit dangerous and, I believe, illegal some places?

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