Toyota Prius is currently the best-selling hybrid vehicle around the world but it appears that other car manufacturers want a piece of its success. Yesterday we told you about Ford’s plan to build a rival for the well-known Japanese hybrid vehicle. Today, we found out that Hyundai also wants a Prius rival.
Several prototypes based on the Hyundai Elantra GT were spotted testing in the United States alongside Prius models and all of them featured different bodies. Hyundai was testing the Prius and Prius+ seven-seater which means that it takes in consideration not one but two hybrid models.
Hyundai unveiled back in 2010 at the Detroit Auto Show the Blue-Will Concept and announced its intentions to build a Prius rival. The concept car was powered by an all-aluminum gasoline direct injection 1.6-liter bolted to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) as well as by a 100 kW electric motor.
In the electric mode, the Blue-Will offered a range of 38 miles or 60 km, while in the plug-in mode it returned a fuel economy of 106 mpg (2.2 l/100 km) and up to 55 mpg (4.2 l/100 km) in hybrid mode.
The test mules spotted in the United States means that the Korean manufacturer is ready to challenge the Toyota Prius. The bad news is that Hyundai is testing the current Prius models but the next-generation will arrive next year and was already delayed by six months as Toyota needed more time to maximize mpg.
Prius is still Toyota’s most recognizable vehicle that makes use of its full hybrid powertrain design. This is despite carmaker’s full efforts to apply its full hybrid technology through other models like the Toyota Auris Hybrid and Yaris Hybrid.
The latest iteration of the new Toyota Prius is provided with a revised exterior design and improved levels of sensorial quality in the cabin. It is also provided with enhanced instrumentation and an array of affordable multimedia and advanced navigation systems like Toyota Touch, Toyota Touch & Go Plus as well as Toyota Touch Pro.
In terms of technological innovation, the Toyota Prius has always been a leading product. Every time a new generation is launched, it also introduces high-tech features to the segment way ahead of their time. Toyota unleashed the third generation of the Toyota Prius in 2009, and it features elements like a Head-up Display that could project essential information – like vehicle speed and the Eco Drive Monitor -- onto the base of the windscreen. The Head-up Display also projects the status of the optional Pre-Crash Safety and Active Cruise Control systems on to the base of the windscreen.
The new Toyota Prius also features a Touch Tracer display switch -- mounted on the steering wheel – that allows a driver to control certain functions -like the audio system, the air-conditioning and the ECO Drive Monitor without having to take off his or hers hands from the steering wheel and without having to look down.