Spy-Shots of Cars

The Hyundai AE hybrid, the brand’s answer to the Toyota Prius, has been spotted testing again. While the car may still be heavily disguised, details are now clearer.

Just like the Prius it’ll be chasing after, Hyundai’s dedicated hybrid model will have a wedge shape with a low, beak-like nose and a high, stubby tail. Rumours are that there could be one more body style, such as a Prius v clone. The new hybrid is expected to be built on an all-new platform that will form the foundation of the next-generation i30/Elantra.

Further speculations lead us to believe that the Hyundai hybrid will combine a 1.6 litre inline-four engine with an electric motor, paired to a lithium-ion battery pack. The aim is to match or (most likely) exceed the current Prius’ frugal 4.6 L/100 km economy figure.

Also revealed for the first time is the car’s interior. What’s clear to see is an advanced-looking flat-bottomed steering wheel with lots of buttons, with a rather large gear selector next to it. It all looks rather conventional from here, quite unlike the Prius’ futuristic approach.

From the pictures, it can also be deduced that the version tested is a plug-in-hybrid version. There is a concealed flap just in front of the driver’s door, which is likely to be for the electric charger. There’s also a conventional fuel filler flap at the back.

As this will be a dedicated hybrid-only model, it’s expected to have a bigger battery that the Sonata plug-in hybrid’s 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer unit, thereby providing a greater all-electric driving range than the Sonata’s 35 km. The vehicle will likely reach production sometime next year to really give the Prius a run for its money.