It’s no secret that that sister brands Hyundai and Kia are hard at work on rolling out hybrid models, thanks to countless spy shots of an upcoming rig over the past few months. However, a new source informed Automotive News that the hybrid rollout for the two brands is far more expansive than anyone would have ever imagined.
In order to capitalize on as many niches as possible, the brands plan to roll out four hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, and on EV between 2016 and 2018. On top of that, there have been talks of bringing diesel engines to the U.S.-spec Kia and Hyundai lineups. Clearly, Kia and Hyundai see gas prices shooting back up some time in the near future.
As for the hybrid models, the brands will release their first hybrid-only cars – a la the Prius – in 2017. According to reports, it appears as if this initial hybrid model will stray from the brands’ current styling, as it will gain a sleeker look to help prevent mileage loss due to aerodynamic drag.
Under the hood of these hybrid-only models will be a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor. While there are no official numbers on it, look for this engine to have around 150 horsepower and get upward of 50 mpg.
In terms of the EV vehicle that the companies are working on, it appears as if this will be a Hyundai-only model, as the Soul EV will remain Kia’s only EV for now. What’s more, the cost of these EVs should be easy to keep in check, as they will share their platform with the dedicated hybrid models, helping spread out the cost. That platform will essentially be a modified version of the one the next-gen Elantra and Soul will ride on.
We’re sure to learn more about these upcoming fuel-saving cars soon, as they are getting pretty close to public consumption. Hopefully Hyundai and Kia can create enough competition that it helps reduce the price of hybrids and EVs, as that remains one of the biggest reasons sales of these models have been so slow.