Geneva motor show 2008 - Hyundai eco models, facelifts & concept

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Hyundai's stand is a busy place this year, with the launch of a high-economy, low-emissions range of cars, a mid-life facelift for two current models and the unveiling of a modern, six-seat MPV concept.

The planet-saving package is almost production ready, Hyundai says, and will soon be available under the i-Blue banner. It includes measures to improve aerodynamics and mechanical efficiency so that cars use less energy to cut through the air.

It could bring the carbon dioxide emissions of the mid-sized i30 1.6 diesel down by 15% to 106g/km, Hyundai claims.

The i10 city car with the same engine would emit just 95g/km – 17% better than the current model with a 1.1-litre diesel. There’s also the possibility of an i10 with a 0.8-litre turbo engine fuelled by compressed natural gas and emissions of only 65g/km.

The lower emissions have been made possible by streamlining the cars and lowering the suspension, reducing internal friction, changing the engine’s electronic control unit and fitting a stop-start system.

There are also low-rolling-resistance tyres and six-speed gearboxes with higher ratios. A gearshift indicator tells drivers the most economical point to change up.

Facelifted Sonata and Matrix
The two facelifted cars are the Sonata family saloon and Matrix compact MPV. The Sonata gains a fresher look, higher-quality interior, more powerful engines and a retuned chassis that’s said to introduce more European-friendly ride and handling.

There are no mechanical changes to the Matrix, but it sports minor styling revisions and the option of red or blue seats instead of grey.

Hyundai HED-5
Hyundai’s MPV concept, the HED-5 i-mode, introduces a new 2.2-litre clean diesel engine and showcases how advanced lightweight materials might replace steel and glass in future.

It has self-healing water-based paintwork that repairs minor scratches automatically, a full digital interior with WiFi internet connection, and a unique swivelling front passenger seat.

Mass production of the new diesel engine is due to begin next year and Hyundai says it already meets future emissions standards. A version with dual-stage turbocharging, giving 50% more low-rev pulling power than a standard turbodiesel, will follow in 2011.

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