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Hyundai introduced a futuristic crossover concept model, the ix-Metro, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Drawing inspiration from NASA, science fiction and pine cones (yes, pine cones), the Hyundai ix-Metro was the result of an internal design competition.
Design features such as faceted surfaces and triangulating lines along the bonnet, side and rear panels are a departure from other recent Hyundai models, both production and concept. Hyundai says the high beltline provides a protective feeling while the 20-inch wheels and flanged wheel arches give the ix-Metro a muscular stance.
Interior designer Sandy Hartono compares the interior to a pine cone with seats, cargo area and other surfaces separated by light-filled gaps, creating an appearance that seems both organic and futuristic.
The ix-Metro uses a hybridized drivetrain, producing 123 hp out of a 1,000cc three-cylinder engine . This was accomplished through the use of continuously variable valve-timing, turbocharging and direct injection. Additional torque assistance is provided by the starter motor-alternator with power stored in an electric, double-layered ultracapacitor, and a 12V battery.
Gallery: Hyundai ix-Metro
Along with an electric version of the company’s tiny i10, Hyundai will also unveil an innovative hybrid CUV concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show in just over a weeks time.
As a part of Hyundai’s Blue drive initiative, the ix-Metro is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. Designed for Europe, this model is particularly interesting as it is a sub-compact crossover. It also gets a state-of-the-art six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
As for the electric i10, it will get a 65hp (49 kW) electric motor with a range of 100 miles.
In addition to these Blue Drive vehicles, Hyundai will also have on hand the Elantra LPI Hybrid and the Blue Will Plug-In Hybrid Electric concept vehicle.
Production vehicle debuts include the 2010 Tucson and the updated 2010 Santa Fe.
GALLERY: Hyundai ix-Metro Concept
Official release after the jump: