It’s your big Korea move

Hyundai Aus­tralia is push­ing for an LPG hy­brid, writes STEPHEN OT­T­LEY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

BUOYED by its suc­cess­ful diesel ex­pan­sion, Hyundai is push­ing to be­come the first com­pany to in­tro­duce an LPG hy­brid in Aus­tralia.

Hyundai Aus­tralia’s par­ent com­pany, Hyundai Mo­tor Com­pany, has re­vealed de­tails for a new Elantra pow­ered by an LPG en­gine paired with an elec­tric mo­tor.

The car is known as the LPI HEV, which stands for Liq­uid Pe­tro­leum In­jected Hy­brid Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle.

It is due to hit South Korean roads by July 2009 and Hyundai Aus­tralia has al­ready told its par­ent com­pany it is keen on in­tro­duc­ing it into Aus­tralian show­rooms.

‘‘We are in­ter­ested and let HMC know that we are. But at this stage there is no con­fir­ma­tion that the car will be re­leased in Aus­tralia,’’ Hyundai Aus­tralia spokesman Ben Her­sh­man says.

De­spite that there is plenty of en­thu­si­asm for the car from the Aus­tralian arm of the com­pany.

‘‘We had a prod­uct meet­ing in May and made it clear a prod­uct like this would be one we’d be very in­ter­ested in,’’ Her­sh­man says.

‘‘The con­cept is great. Ob­vi­ously South Korea has a great LPG in­fra­struc­ture and so does Aus­tralia and we’ve pointed that out to them.’’

Aus­tralia is one of few coun­tries with a well-es­tab­lished LPG net­work and with no other man­u­fac­tur­ers with such a car, Hyundai knows it is well placed to get a jump on its ri­vals.

‘‘There’s no doubt it would be an op­por­tu­nity for us. We’re very fo­cused on the roll-out of our diesel prod­ucts at the mo­ment . . . but of course we are look­ing to the fu­ture,’’ Her­sh­man says.

The car is la­belled as a mild hy­brid and is pow­ered by a 1.6-litre LPG en­gine that is sup­ported by a 15kW elec­tric mo­tor with drive through a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion.

Though pric­ing is still to be re­vealed, the com­pany claims the price pre­mium for the hy­brid Elantra will be made up within two years through fuel sav­ings.

As well as its re­duced econ­omy, Hyundai is also claim­ing the car is a Su­per Ul­tra Low Emis­sions Ve­hi­cle and emits 103g/km of CO2; 90 per cent less than the petrol-pow­ered Elantra.

While the com­pany is rolling out the tech­nol­ogy in the Elantra, plans are al­ready un­der­way to trans­fer it to other mod­els across the range. Hyundai plans to start with a mid­sized sedan by 2010.

Bring it on: Hyundai Aus­tralia has told its Korean par­ent com­pany it wants the LPI HEV LPG hy­brid in show­rooms here.

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