Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Hyundai, South Korea
The wraps are off Hyundai’s next-generation Sonata Hybrid after an unveiling in Seoul, South Korea, and the latest model brings an improved powertrain and slight styling tweaks.
In the Korean domestic market, the Sonata Hybrid relies upon a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine producing 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque with a 51-hp electric motor providing the rest of the thrust. Hyundai isn’t revealing net system output at the moment, and it isn’t saying whether we will get this powertrain in the US yet. Company spokesperson Jim Trainor tells Autoblog that those details will likely be announced at the model’s North American debut at Detroit Auto Show in January. Sales are expected to begin in the spring.
In addition to the upgraded engine, there’s an improved six-speed automatic that houses most of the hybrid components and uses a new clutch to reduce drag. The switch to an electric oil pump also removes some inefficiencies, and the battery pack underneath the trunk has been enlarged to 1.62 kilowatt hours, up from 1.43 kWh. Despite the capacity increase, Hyundai claims there’s 10.5 percent more cargo room back there.
The Sonata’s design gets a slight rethink to improve fuel economy, too. Up front, the redone nose features a new mesh grille in a more rectilinear frame, and out back, there’s a set of unique taillamps, a lip spoiler and a unique rear diffuser to go along with the full underbody cover that only the pavement sees.
If anything, the new hybrid model looks more traditional to our eyes than the standard gas-powered Sonata, which comes as something of a surprise, especially as the previous-generation Sonata Hybrid was markedly more futuristic and divisive in its appearance. In any case, we expect the looks to remain largely the same for the US version, which will likely arrive wearing a 2016 model-year designation.
All of the upgrades, boost fuel economy to 18.2 kilometers per liter on the Korean cycle, the equivalent of about 42.8 miles per gallon. Comparatively, the current Sonata Hybrid in Korea is rated at 16.8 km/l (39.5 mpg).
Hyundai will also make a big expansion to its electrified slate next year. In addition to the standard Sonata Hybrid, a plug-in version will come later in 2015 – the automaker’s first. More details will arrive about the model in Detroit. The company’s first dedicated hybrid bodystyle will be coming in the second half of 2015, as well – it’s possible that the latter will be the same Prius-fighting model that our spy shooters caught testing during the summer. Scroll down to read the full scoop on Hyundai’s future hybrids.
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Hyundai reveals new Sonata Hybrid in Seoul originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.