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Gas the battery, says HEVy Hyundai

High-tech: Hyundai says the Elantra LPI is the world's first LPG hybrid.

Hyundai hopes to bring the Elantra LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) here next year

14 Oct 2008

HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia (HCMA) has revealed that it has put a business case forward to its South Korean parent for the LPG hybrid Elantra sedan to be sold here.

While the plentiful and cheap supply of LPG and its well-established Autogas infrastructure would make the Elantra LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) a natural for the Australian market, the vehicle is still to be confirmed for right-hand drive.

“What we’ve said to our parent company is that this is of great interest to this market, and obviously at this point we have put a proposal forward to them, and we’re waiting for their feedback on that,” said HMCA spokesman Ben Hershman.

However, Mr Hershman added that importing the eco Elantra would depend on whether it is produced in right-hand drive, having been primarily developed for the LHD South Korean and Chinese markets. It will make its market introduction in Korea in July 2009.

The Elantra LPI hybrid will have the latest-generation LPG system – high-pressure liquid injection powering a conventional Gamma 1.6-litre engine. The hybrid will use a lithium polymer battery pack to power its 15W electric motor.

1 center image Left: i20.

Mr Hershman would not be drawn on pricing, but did indicate how the Elantra would be positioned in the market.

“I would just point you to what Honda and Toyota do – the Honda’s (Civic hybrid) premium over the non-hybrid vehicles for example. We would look very closely at that.” Given the Civic Hybrid starts from the same price point as the Civic Sport ($32,990), that would put the Elantra LPI Hybrid at around $30,000. The range-topping Elantra Elite S starts from $28,990.

Meanwhile, HMCA has revealed that it plans to introduce the forthcoming i20 light car alongside – rather than instead of – the current Getz.

“We don’t have confirmation at this stage, but we’re very close to bringing the product here. That main point is i20 will replace Getz in Europe, whereas our intention is to retain Getz at this stage, and to have the Getz as the price of entry vehicle in the Hyundai range,” Mr Hershman said.

“We see the i20 s a larger, more sophisticated motor car compared to the Getz, and we see i20 competing with the Japanese products (such as) Honda Jazz, Mazda2, Toyota Yaris.” Hyundai claims it will offer the i20 with “generous levels of standard equipment”.

Read more:

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First look: All-new i20 Getz Hyundai's Paris limelight

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