There’s a method to their madness though it seems, as a new Hyundai hybrid has been caught testing by spies working for AutoGuide.
Though based on the compact Elantra and Elantra GT chassis, the new hybrid won’t share the Elantra name. Rather, it will become a dedicated hybrid model all its own, not unlike the Ford C-Max or Toyota Prius. The Prius in particular is the obvious target of this new hybrid brand, with the hatchback GT model targeting the larger Prius V.
Hyundai hasn’t been as committed to hybrids as other brands, though they’re chjarging full speed ahead with their hydrogen fuel cell ambitions. The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell has already been delivered to its first customers, offering free fuel in exchange for the $500 a month lease. That’s a price most can’t afford, which is where the new, lower cost Elantra-based hybrids come in.
In addition to new, aerodynamically-friendly bodywork, the spy photographers also caught sight of a power orange cable beneath the car. This implies a sizable battery, and could give Hyundai the means to deliver a legitimate Prius competitor.
Or it could end up as just another also-ran, unable to unseat the car that has become synonymous with the word “hybrid.”