Hyundai Motors has unveiled the new Sonata Hybrid in South Korea and this time Hyundai has worked a lot towards improving the car in terms of fuel economy and performance. The exterior design of the Sonata Hybrid makes the hybrid look quite different from the current non-hybrid Sonata models. The front design gets a sharply edged and large hexagonal grille that has a unique inner-grille pattern.
The HID headlamps and the slimline LED daytime running lights characterize the hi-tech image. The hexagonal grille enhances cooling and aerodynamic efficiency. The revised rear fenders flow into the high-visibility LED rear lamp clusters. The low-drag rear diffuser provides a good finish to the design upgrades. The Sonata Hybrid comes with a 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels with a full under body cover that ensures reduced airflow resistance.
The Sonata Hybrid is 35 mm longer and 30 mm wider when compared with its predecessor. The wheelbase, too is longer by 10 mm giving more space in the interiors. The interiors get more space, stylish contour and fine grain leather.
Powering the new Sonata Hybrid is the Nu 2.0-liter GDI hybrid engine that is mated to a 38 kW electric motor. The gasoline engine produces a power of 156 PS (4% more than the previous model) and 19.3 kg.m torque (5.5% more than the previous model). The 38 kW electric motor delivers 8.6% improved power and a torque of 20.9 kg.m (205 Nm). The electric motor and the upgraded engine improves the fuel consumption. The upgraded powertrain delivers fuel economy of 18.2 kms per liter.
The Sonata Hybrid will be available with a six-speed automatic gearbox. A highly efficient traction motor has been fitted to the transmission and the torque converter has been removed. The new Sonata Hybrid’s powertrain also includes a light torsion damper and new engine clutch that sports fewer clutch discs and ensure more efficiency for the transfer and usage of power.
In order to improve fuel efficiency, the mechanical oil pump has been removed and replaced with a new electric oil pump. The Sonata Hybrid also uses the efficient lithium-polymer battery pack (that made Hyundai Motors the world’s first automaker to use such efficient battery technology in cars). The lithium-polymer battery, now comes with a 13.3 percent higher capacity of 1.62 kilowatt-hour.
The battery will now be found under the floor of the trunk, which means, there will be more usable cargo area with 60/40 split-folding seats.
The new Sonata Hybrid also comes with a wide array of safety features that includes Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Parking Sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning. Passive safety technologies have also been provided. The new knee bag prevents injury during collision. With the Smart Key, access to the cabin is keyless. With the Smart Trunk function, the trunk can be entered ‘hands-free’. Other safety features include a powered and ventilated seat with a four-way lumbar support, Smart Cruise Control and Heated Steering Wheel. Six airbags-for the driver and passengers plus side and curtain comes standard to all Sonata Hybrid models.
Hyundai Motors will showcase the new Sonata Hybrid to the US audience at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show in January, 2015.