Hybrid Hyundai Elantra-like Prototype Spied, to Start Production in 2016

Hybrid Hyundai Elantra-like prototype 10 photos
Photo: CarPix
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South Korea's Hyundai is no stranger to hybrid technology, but Hyundai never offered a direct Toyota Prius rival. What our team of carparazzi spotted lately is that very car in test mule format, expected to hit showrooms in 2016 if R&D duties go nicely.
Potentially underpinned by the new-gen Elantra’s platform, there’s an earlier pic that features some orange high voltage cables that read “AE HEV.” AE is the program code for this upcoming model, while the HEV acronym stands for Hybrid Electric Vehicle. If our inside info is right, the powertrain combines a 1.6-liter gasoline mill and an electric motor in a parallel setup, as well as a small lithium-ion battery.

Word has it a plug-in hybrid and more body styles will follow in 2017. But until more intel surfaces on the subject, I want to talk about Hyundai's source of inspiration for the upcoming Toyota Prius rival.

In the world of conventional hybrid vehicles, it’s a well-known fact mortals and Hollywood stars too wax lyrical about the Toyota Prius and it’s hardly surprising. Since the 1997 XW10 first generation, the Prius became a byword for those customers in the market for an eco-friendly, car-like, reliable and easy to maneuver personal means of transportation.

Driving a hybrid isn't exactly what Al Gore says it is: the only way of us mortals to save the polar ice cap.

Fun fact: a Range Rover Supercharged driven 10,000 miles (16,000 km) per year releases similar CO2 emissions into the atmosphere as two and a half cows’ flatulence (namely belching and farting).

Dear Al Gore and dear hippie environmentalists, what you eat has a bigger carbon footprint than your car and this is only a prime, factual example of many other not-so-obvious polluting elements. This is the reason why my inner self suggests to me that choosing a hybrid over a solely ICE car is nothing more than a social status-related factor.

Toyota hasn’t invested millions into the Prius for people to boast about with their car.

Everyone, me included, have to understand that the Prius demands appreciation for the techno showcase it is, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of normal passenger vehicle-like creature comforts in order to drive an automobile that’s a little more out of the ordinary than others.

Naturally, lots of other manufacturers want to get a slice of the hybrid-electric global sales pie, with the latest to jump on the bandwagon being South Korean marque Hyundai. Peer through the photo gallery below and have your say about the upcoming Elantra GT-based model from the Asian automaker.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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