Hyundai’s got the blues. Two of them, to be exact. Like Mercedes-Benz, the Korean manufacturer has apparently tired of everything being green and branded its eco-conscious automotive efforts blue, as in the i20 blue and Santa Fe blue Hybrid, both of which debuted at the Paris auto show in early October.
The “blue” designation doesn’t mean hybrid; it means aerodynamic, efficiency, and weight measures have been taken to lower the car’s environmental impact. In the case of the i20, Hyundai took the following steps to lighten its footprint:
- 1.4-liter diesel engine
- six-speed gearbox, rather than a five-speed
- low-friction engine oil
- software to optimize timing, injection, and idle speed
- ISG start-stop system that cuts the engine while the car is not moving and not in gear
- full-length covers underneath the car to reduce drag
- Michelin Energy low rolling resistance tires
All this adds up to 15% lower carbon dioxide emissions and a 15% improvement in fuel efficiency (from 55 mpg to 63 mpg).
The Santa Fe blue, meanwhile, has a 2.4-liter engine mated to a 6-speed transmission and a 30 kW electric motor and a lithium polymer battery. The company says that this parallel hybrid architecture, as they call it, will be the basis for all Hyundai’s hybrids in the future. In the Santa Fe, the system returns 38 mpg. As part of the new blue lineup, it also incorporates many of the features, such as ISG start-stop, found in the i20 blue.