Concept of the Day: Hyundai Intrado

December 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

hyundai intradoA 2014 Geneva Motor Show preview already. The Hyundai Intrado concept (codenamed HED-9) showcases the company’s latest design thinking, as well as a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain – smaller and lighter than in the current iX35 Fuel Cells – and, arguably most interestingly, a new “super-lightweight” structure said to be “a mixture of advanced materials”, “joined using a revolutionary technique that has the potential to change the way cars are constructed in the future”. It has been styled and engineered mostly at Hyundai’s European R&D centre in Russelsheim. “Intrado”, btw, is the underside of an aircraft wing which produces lift. Oh, and also to appear in Geneva: a 141mpg-plus plug-in hybrid city car from Renault, reports MSN, probably a variant of the next-gen Twingo.

In other news this week:

  • The French postal service is testing three Renault Kangoo ZE electric vans fitted with a prototype hydrogen fuel cell range extender system. These HyKangoos have their range doubled thanks to the Symbio FCell conversion kit; more details at Green Car Congress.
  • Bollore – maker of the BlueCar and its operator in the Paris AutoLib carshare – is to take over the running of the Source London EV charging network. Full story at Transport Evolved.
  • Car production and sales in the UK and EU should pick up in 2014, with renewed enthusiasm for EVs thanks to the launch of range-extended models like the BMW i3, according to the 2014 KPMG Global Automotive Executive Survey.
  • A prototype FAW-Volkswagen Bora (Chinese-market Jetta) is being fitted with Protean in-wheel motors for a hub-driven electric-drive powertrain. More tech details at Green Car Congress.
  • Audi’s 2014 Le Mans contender, the R18 e-tron quattro, supplements its V6 TDI engine with kinetic energy storage (KERS) at the front axle with an optimised flywheel storage system, and an electric turbocharger with heat energy recovery. With additional help from enhanced aerodynamics, fuel economy (though such things are in the context of a 24-hour race) is improved by some 30%. Tech trickledown? And Porsche’s LMP1 – direct injection petrol – also features a pair of energy recovery systems.
  • Meanwhile, Audi’s concept to debut in Detroit next month, a compact crossover-type vehicle (probably Q1), is another e-tron model, though no firm details as yet to the degree of its electrification.
  • Toyota’s planning to sell only 5-10,000 FCVs a year from the 2015 launch, but reckons fuel cell vehicles will be price-competitive by 2030, and from 2020, “just one alternative of the eco cars”. Interview, quotes, more detail at Automotive News Europe.
  • Bosch is claiming its next-gen stop-start system – with ‘coasting’ mode – gives fuel savings of 10% over current systems. More here.
  • Scania is to lead a three-year EU-funded research project on digitally-enabled truck platooning. More here.
  • The E-Car Club has launched its third pay-per-use EV-share scheme in Hemel Hempstead (joining Oxford and London). More here. There’s a fleet of Renault Fluence and Zoe EVs from £5.50 an hour.
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