2008 L.A. Auto Show: Hyundai HED-5 i-Mode Concept

MMS ID 67315 (created by CM Utility) automatic-content-migration
  • Looks like: The Hyundai Veracruz and Toyota Prius had a lovechild on the set of “Blade Runner”
  • Defining characteristics: Configuarble interior for six
  • Ridiculous features: Scalloped A-pillar
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Nearly 100%; Hyundai says this is green-lit for the American market

Usually when we tackle concepts we look at the exterior packaging first. Not with the HED-5 i-Mode; this is one time when the guts of a concept are far more interesting than the skin. The six-passenger crossover may be futuristic-looking, but that’s not as interesting as the engine under its hood.

Hyundai has chosen the L.A. auto show as the place to not only display its all-new hybrid powertrain system, but also its future gasoline engines, starting with the 286-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the i-Mode. That’s a lot of horsepower for a turbo-four, normally reserved for high-performance cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Hyundai says turbocharging will improve fuel efficiency by 15-20%, but we’re not sure what it’s using as the baseline, as it compares this engine to six-cylinder engines as well. Hyundai says it will put the new turbo in various production models soon, but it’s obviously not spilling the beans yet on the whats and whens.

The i-Mode itself, while green-lit, doesn’t yet have a definitive date to hit the U.S. market.

MMS ID 72366 (created by CM Utility) automatic-content-migration
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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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