Hyundai hybrid and PHEV compacts spotted during testing

These could be based on the next-generation Elantra.

Some unnamed Hyundai hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles have been spotted testing in the southwestern United States.

Hot on the heels of the Hyundai Equus and Kia K900 luxury sedans that were spied earlier this week, a new batch of yet-to-be-released Hyundais have been reported. The cars appear to be smaller than the Sonata, but the heavily camouflaged vehicles do not match the shape of any current cars in the Hyundai lineup.

With a distinct hybrid hatchback profile reminiscent of the Prius and Honda Insight, the compact-sized hybrids may be the next-generation Elantra. What's more, keen observers have noticed that one of the test mules has a dual fuel caps, indicating that it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle. The other, with a single fuel cap, will likely be a traditional hybrid. Power may come from a 1.6L turbo four mated to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery.

The current generation Elantra, which debuted in 2011, is set to be replaced soon. It is likely these hybrid versions will be unveiled in early 2016. However, since the 2016 Elantra is already slated to soldier on in its current generation, any hybrids or plug-ins will likely be a 2017 model.

Photo by Mark Elias.

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