• May 5th 2008 at 9:31AM
  • 14
Like every other automaker that intends to do business in the U.S., Hyundai is planning for the future and the proposed fuel economy standards that are expected to hit in 2015. Currently, Hyundai's passenger cars average 32.4 mpg, while its trucks average 25.5 mpg. When the new regulations are in place, those numbers will have to increase to 37.5 mpg and 31.0 mpg, respectively. Hyundai's approach involves two separate strategies that will work together to achieve those figures.
The first step is to increase electrical efficiency by utilizing more LED technology that puts less strain on the powertrain, along with the use of electric power steering systems (in place of hydraulic units), direct-injection engines and six-speed transmissions. Those changes will be accompanied by the use of lightweight materials, aerodynamic enhancements and low-rolling resistance tires. While the electric power steering system only adds around one mpg overall, the combination of DI engines and six-speed 'boxes should increase fuel economy by between three and six percent.

Within the next two years, Hyundai plans to equip all of its V6-powered vehicles with six-speed gearboxes, while smaller models, with four-cylinder mills, will be upgraded to five-speed transmissions. All of this should help Hyundai achieve its goals, but more needs to be done, and Hyundai's senior manager of the powertrain department, Timothy White, says, "There is really no home run out there." Incremental are what it's about for the time being, and Hyundai seems to be making the first of many steps to accomplish that goal.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hyundai makes trucks?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shouldn't all automakers be doing this?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lighter cars are always a good thing. Colin Chapman realized this 50 years ago. I think electrica steering systems will be come standard across the board. Hopefully steering feel wont become a thing of the past. I wonder when we will start to see electric brakes? Hopefully no time soon, going fast is good, stopping is better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Elantra is an adult size car. It is actually categorized as a mid-size due to interior room.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "While the electric power steering system only adds around one mpg overall, the combination of DI engines and six-speed 'boxes should increase fuel economy by between three and six percent."


      Funny how phrasing changes our perception of reality, isn't it? Three and six percent translates to approximately 1 and 2 mpg. That sentence sure makes the powertrain change (1 mpg) sound a whole lot better than the power steering change (also 1mpg) doesn't it?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Trim the weight on the Genesis Coupe!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Adding lightness sounds easy enough, but that will involve expensive materials (such as aluminum), which invariably adds to the cost of the car...which most consumers are quick to complain about. However, if all manufacturers move in this direction, in the same time frame, at least the increased price should be felt across the board. There are no easy solutions to this problem. Also, weight has increased with the number of safety systems in demand by the public &/or gov't regulations.
        • 7 Years Ago
        There's an incredibly easy solution to this problem, remove features and add smallness.

        Making a 3500 lb Sonata weigh 3000 lbs through high tech alternative materials would price it out of the family car market.

        Putting a Sonata badge on the Elantra they already have would give you a 3000 lb, 3 mpg higher Sonata tomorrow.

        (Of course if you liked having an adult sized car you're out of luck, but this isn't about you it's about mother Gaia.)

        • 7 Years Ago
        Everett @ May 5th 2008 11:19AM
        "... weight has increased with the number of safety systems in demand by the public &/or gov't regulations."

        Yeah. I wish there was some way to opt-out from weight-increasing safety features. Maybe sign a waiver at the dealer, or something. I'd love to be able to pick a new, bare-bones, lightweight car again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think making the brake lights LEDs is going to save quite that much gas or weight...sounds a lot like press BS to me. LEDs are mostly for show.

      And I for one, absolutely HATE the LED cabin reading lights. Some people say it's less distracting for the other passengers/driver, but mostly I just find myself angry that my map is now lit in a tiny little circle.

      It made me want to write Lexus hate mail (thank goodness it was a loaner Lexus)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hyundai deserves to be manufacturer of the year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Add lightness. Simplifying this whole need for increased efficiency will make it more cost-effective, and with the weight loss will come more driver fun. Even with the somewhat despised '08 Focus, (http://goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com/2008/05/top-5-ford-focus-weight-savings.html) Ford was smart enough to take a few initiatives.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can only hope that this is done wisely.

      The last thing we need is another late 70's fiasco.
      What with 180 HP Corvettes and such.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, the gutless '70s cars were largely caused by a technology lag... it took a few years for manufacturers to come up with ways to clean up emissions without horribly crippling cars, and it didn't REALLY get good until electronics got fast, cheap and reliable enough to be used for engine management. I had an '80 2.3 liter turbo car that made 140 hp on a good day and was QUITE bitchy about the way you applied the throttle. It got about 28 mpg in ideal highway conditions.

        My current car is a 2.5 liter turbo with AWD. It's heavier than that 1980 car and makes 250 hp/250 lb-ft of torque. It has much cleaner emissions than the '80 car, and gets about 28 mpg in ideal highway conditions. I can tromp the pedal to the floor without it bogging down or barking overboost warnings at me.

        Properly-utilized technology is a wonderful thing.
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