Hyundai to unveil 2010 Sonata Hybrid and 2.0T GDi at New York Auto Show

SEOUL, Korea (AVING) — <Visual News> Hyundai Motor America unveiled its 2011 Sonata Hybrid, changing the game in hybrids with unique approaches in hybrid powertrain design, battery technology and vehicle appearance at the New York Auto Show.

The Hyundai-developed Hybrid Blue Drive architecture is a full parallel hybrid drive system, which can operate on an electric motor, gasoline internal combustion engine, and a combination of the two depending on driving conditions and driver demands. Hyundai Hybrid Blue Drive is the first and only system using lithium polymer battery technology – leapfrogging competitive in-market nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion applications. Hyundai Hybrid Blue Drive also is unique in its use of the company’s own highly efficient, compact new 6-speed transmission, modified with hybrid starter-generator, electric motor, and low-friction oil pump, which together allow the elimination of the traditional torque converter.

Sonata Hybrid’s projected best-in-class highway fuel economy of 39 mpg offers significant benefit to hybrid owners with highway commutes, while also offering outstanding city fuel economy of 37 mpg. Government studies have shown that the typical U.S. driver operates in a highway mode 57 percent of the time. Hyundai’s approach to deliver class-leading fuel economy in highway mode provides a unique solution in the mid-size sedan hybrid market, and differentiates Sonata Hybrid from the likes of Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid. Sonata Hybrid delivers typical hybrid fuel economy gains in the city like its competitors, but also gives owners outstanding fuel economy on the highway, where these competitors fall short.

Sonata Hybrid delivers class-leading electric-vehicle operation at steady-state speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. Gasoline engine engagement depends on state of charge, acceleration and vehicle speed. Its two propulsion units develop a total output of 209 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, exceeding all mid-size competitors, and 195 lb-ft of torque. The weight-efficient architecture of the new Sonata platform, combined with the lightweight lithium polymer battery pack, make the Sonata Hybrid the lightest vehicle in the segment, at just 3,457 pounds, 263 pounds lighter than the Fusion Hybrid. Combined with Sonata’s best-in-class horsepower rating, Sonata Hybrid has a significant advantage in power-to-weight ratio, a key enabler of both performance and efficiency.

Hyundai’s proprietary parallel hybrid drive system is the heart of the Sonata Hybrid. The competition uses a power split system with a planetary-geared Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This is where the Sonata Hybrid gains a key advantage. Competing hybrid models use electric motors that have to power a planetary gear set. By utilizing a full parallel drive system, Sonata Hybrid uses the power from the electric motor more efficiently to directly control the vehicle, allowing it to be operated at much higher speeds than the competition in EV-only mode. This technology is also a key enabler of Sonata Hybrid’s best-in-class highway fuel economy.

Hyundai Motor America also debuted its 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine in the 2011 Sonata at the New York Auto Show. With the addition of the all-new 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI engine, the new 2011 Sonata offers an unprecedented combination of segment-leading fuel efficiency and power – with an estimated 34 mpg highway rating, and 274 horsepower.

The new Sonata is the first Hyundai vehicle to have both GDI technology and a turbocharger. By the end of Hyundai’s 24/7 version 2.0 product initiative (seven new models in the next 24 months), four nameplates will be available with GDI or the combination of GDI and a turbocharger. Turbocharging and GDI are part of ‘Hyundai Blue Drive,’ the company’s environmental initiative to continue industry leadership in fuel efficiency and sustainability.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine in the 2011 Sonata produces 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque from 1800-4500 rpm with regular fuel. The Sonata 2.0T will deliver 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway (preliminary estimates). Hyundai’s turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that when combined with the GDI system results in instantaneous power delivery. Twin-scroll turbochargers have traditionally been used on more expensive high performance engines, but as with GDI, Hyundai has chosen once again to apply this efficient technology in high volume to its most popular model.