Hyundai plans to show off its Blue-Will hybrid concept to North America during the 2010 Detroit auto show next week. The Blue-Will debuted in Seoul last March, but the visit to Detroit will be the first time we’ve seen the concept in person.
“Blue-Will’s bold character lines and innovative design language give the perfect expression to the advanced eco-friendly technologies found beneath the skin,” said Oh Suk-Geun, executive vice president of design for Hyundai. “At a time of rising concern about the environment and our energy future, Blue-Will demonstrates to eco-conscious car buyers everywhere that Hyundai has practical hybrid solutions that will appear on the next generation of vehicles.”
The Blue-Will, also known as the HND-4, features a host of alternative energy and eco-friendly technologies including recycled materials and solar panels integrated into the all-glass roof. Other tricks include a thermal generator to turn exhaust gas heat into electricity and a new Lithium Polymer battery, the first to be used in a car. It powers a 100 kW electric motor that’s mated to Hyundai’s new 152-hp 1.6L direct-injected four-cylinder engine, both of which send power to the ground via a continuously variable transmission. As a parallel hybrid, the Blue-Will can be powered be either motor alone or any combination of the two as driving conditions dictate. This new hybrid architecture is more than just a science experiment – it will be the basis of the new Sonata Hybrid that will debut in the U.S. later this year.
Not all of the Blue-Will sleek technology is under the skin. All the lighting up front is LED to save power, and it only gets better inside. Transparent Organic LEDs create a high-resolution, ultra-thin color screen in place of the traditional gauge cluster, while a touchscreen replaces the traditional center stack and takes over all of its duties, including climate control, stereo control, navigation, and even the transmission gear selection. Topping off the green creds is the Eco-Coach, a graphic-based program designed to teach you to be a more economical driver.