SEOUL -- Hyundai will launch its first plug-in hybrid in the United States in late 2012.
The vehicle will be based on the four-door Blue-Will sports car concept on display now at the auto show here, according to Yang Woong-chul, president of Hyundai-Kia Motors r&d division.
Yang said Hyundais plug-in will target the upcoming Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius plug-ins.
We want to be the world leader in fuel economy and alternative fuels, he said.
The Blue-Will sits on a 106-inch wheelbase. It is powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection engine teamed with a 100-kilowatt electric motor. Hyundai has developed its own lithium ion battery.
Almost every part on this car has been developed in-house, Yang said. That will make it possible to make this vehicle affordable.
Yang said the Blue-Will can travel about 38 miles on electricity only. Hyundai claims a fuel economy rating of 106 mpg in plug-in mode and up to 55 mpg in hybrid-electric mode. The concept car features a panoramic glass roof with solar cells for recharging.
We want to show our technological image to get people to the dealerships to drive our cars, he said. We are not necessarily trying to make money on hybrids.
Yang would not estimate the price. He also said the technology is not expected to appear on a Kia vehicle.