The Internet is abuzz with news that Ford and Hyundai are working on new hybrid models that will compete with the market leader, the Toyota Prius. Both Ford and Hyundai currently offer hybrid models, but neither of them have been specifically designed as a hybrid as the Toyota Prius was.
A vehicle specially designed to be hybrid is the most ideal method, since all aspects of the car can be designed with efficiency in mind. This includes the overall design, engine or interior materials, which often face problems in models that were originally designed to use a conventional engine. So far, the only other exclusively built and designed hybrid on the market was the Honda Insight, but production was discontinued later this year.
What can we expect from the hybrids from Ford and Hyundai? There have been reports that Hyundai may be working on a family of hybrids, such as the Prius, with different size and power models. Hyundai’s hybrid prototypes have been photographed in road tests, suggesting that it could hit the market in 2016. The prototypes have not revealed a port for a plug.
Hyundai’s hybrid may be similar to the Blue-Will concept (pictured) that originally debuted in 2010.
Hybrid and electric sales in Europe are increasing, although they do not reach the sales of the US market. For this reason, both Ford and Hyundai take into account the preferences of US consumers when designing their new models. In Latin America, it is difficult to find hybrid and electric vehicles on the online car buying and selling pages.
Ford’s hybrid is a bit further out, as it has been reported to be released around 2019. Some buyers question why the C-MAX is not being labeled a dedicated hybrid, but it is because in other markets outside the US, it is offered with gasoline and diesel engines. The hybrid powertrain was added later. The new hybrid is known internally as the C240 and will be built on Ford’s new C2 compact vehicle architecture, which will also be the foundation for the next generation of the C-MAX, Fusion and Escap. Ford can also offer a family of hybrids to fully compete with the Prius.