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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

In preparation for the car's appearance in U.S. dealers in late November or early December, 2010, Hyundai showed off the production-ready 2011 Sonata hybrid to journalists (including Autoblog) this week. The hybrid, which will get a price tag closer to the on-sale date, should be rated at 40 miles per gallon highway, thanks to the lithium-ion polymer battery pack, a six-speed automatic transmission and aerodynamic help like active grill shutters and an underbody panel. To compare, the non-hybrid Sonata 2.0T will get 33 mpg highway. In a nice bonus, the hybrid can go up to 62 miles per hour on battery power. Read more about the car here and in our first drive in the prototype. The hybrid will come with an eight-year minimum, "Hyundai-style" warranty, details of which will be announced later. How many Sonata hybrids will Hyundai make? That all depends on customer demand.

As part of the presentation, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik reiterated his company's pledge to hit a 50 mpg fleet average by 2025, but he did say that if the CAFE standard rises to 62 mpg – as is being considered – company officials will need to have a talk with government representatives about what kind of infrastructure needs to be built to support an increase like that. It's not available yet, but an archive of the company's presentation should be posted here soon, and Hyundai has also made available a spanking-new high-res gallery of the car showing off its mildly altered front bumper, new wheels and rich crimson paint.



[Source: Hyundai]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Krafcif is not Hyundai CEO--he's head of American Hyundai. How come no one quotes/interviews/mentions the leaders at foreign auto firms, unless they're Charles Ghosn, or unless a foreign automaker has done something bad?
      • 4 Years Ago
      not green. at all. it's some kind of purplish blue
      • 4 Years Ago
      30 kW (40.2 hp) electric motor to propel a 3,457 pound vehicle?

      For sustaining speed, it should be realistic. There would be plenty of opportunities during a typical drive to take advantage of that.

      It's not powerful enough for suburb acceleration like the PHV model Prius easily delivers with its 60 kW electric motor though. It also begs the question of liquid cooling being available. Since without that, it would likely overheat from continuous use.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Now the big question is, does it plug in???
        • 4 Years Ago
        EV,
        A Korean company using a Chinese battery maker? No way. Different companies.
        SK energy is a Korean company and produces a lithium manganese spinel battery, similar in chemistry to Nissan's, but they use a polymer gel and different separator:
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/10/sk-energy-to-in.html

        They get around 5,000 cycles out of it down to 70%, much better than Nissan's 1-1,500 or so cycles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        David Martin, Sky Energy is now China Aviation Lithium Battery Corp or CALB. Maybe they are going to use the new GBS li ion battery with terminals on opposite ends? The GBS comes as one 200 ah battery with four cells at nominal voltage of 3.4 volts each, or 13.6 volts total. They are 1,050 dollars each.

        Sonata seems like it would be a good candidate for a after market plug in package using CALB batteries.

        Kind of interesting to watch the Chinese battery manufacturers work. Approx 2 years ago they had a 100 ah battery, then they had a 130 ah in the same foot print. Next they came out with a 160 ah in the same foot print, then 180 in the same foot print and now 200 ah in the same foot print. They did this by mixing in some manganese or other chemical into there secret sauce inside the battery.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, it doesn't plug in. Hyundai are however working on a plug-in model, where they intend to use an SK Energy pack, 7.9kwh, rated as good for about 20 miles of all electric range and occupying only 2.3cu ft.
        The battery they are using even in the present hybrid is pretty revolutionary anyway, as apart from a couple of batteries in Merc's it is one of the first times a lithium battery instead of the NiMH ones that the Prius uses has been put to this sort of use.
        The load on a hybrid is much more demanding than on an electric car, as the small battery has to cycle a lot more times.
        Just the same Hyundai reckon their battery should be good for 300,000 miles, although they are only guaranteeing it for 100k like everything else.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Jesus, that front end just gets more ugly as they tweek it more and more. This is like Joan Rivers and too many face lifts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dave Martin,
        If this is EPA 40 mpg on the highway, it may get 50 mpg in actual driving.

        My 2010 Insight is rated 40 highway, and it get's 50 mpg at 65 mph.

        Anyone got a real world Prius number for 65 mpg?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Every car has to have a distinctive look to be different.
        A bit of paint on the nose and it would change its looks dramatically.. if it bothers you enough.

        Hyundai will not be able to keep up with the demand for this car..
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think the front end is too ugly, but that's just me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "as they tweek it more and more"?!?

        Those are the same images posted back when the car was initially introduced. How is it uglier when it hasn't changed?!?

        At the end of the day it seems like it's become fashionable to bash the nose of this particular car. And yeah, it ain't perfect but on the whole I'd argue it's 50 times better looking than the Prius or Insight and about 2.5 times better looking than the Fusion, Camry, and Altima hybrids.

        Mind you this isn't because the Hyundai is some gorgeous work of art, but rather that all the other hybrids are either plain ugly (prius/insight), or boring/generic (the rest). I'd argue that the side and rear profiles of the Hyundai are pretty damn svelte...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Middle Way:
        Yeah, some of the diesels will. This Peugeot 3008, for instance, and the hybrid diesel due in March will do better again:
        http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/235487/peugeot_3008.html

        However, you have misread what I was saying, which was that the performance of the Sonata being comparable to the Fiat 500 is remarkable, considering how much bigger, heavier and faster it is! :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        David martin; comparing this to a fiat 500 is not fair at all.
        Think about the size and weight of each prospective car.

        Do you have gas a car of this size in Europe that gets 40mpg? If so it probably has a 1.5 liter engine and can only make it up a hill with a running start and divine intervention.
        • 4 Years Ago
        40mpg US is about the same as the tiny Fiat 500.
        Quite an achievement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Mike,
        Some US drivers on this blog comment that the European fuel cycle is much more generous than the US cycle, even after of course you have allowed for the smaller US gallon than the Imperial.
        I did not comment of course as the pattern of use could be different in the US, but I actually find the European rating pretty accurate if you drive normally.
        From what you say it sounds as though they may also give a good guide to actual mileage in US conditions.
        I think folks going for the little Fiat should be quite pleased with the economy then, as the 1.3 is rated here at 67mpg, which works out to around 53mpg US!
        If the Sonata can hit close to that, it is quite an achievement for such a big, heavy car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've seen a lot of YF sonatas on the road, and while i felt 'meh' about them, they're growing on me. This front is weird, but it ain't bad.

        Stacks up to the Ford Fusion nose & looks better than the Prius. I like it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When you're up close, the front end does look silly. But from a short distant away, it look goods. They could have made it worst, like instead of black on black, it could have been white/silver on black.

      Tax incentive, design, and competitive price makes it very appealing.

      "A federal tax credit in place since 2006, which gives hybrid buyers a federal income tax credit of up to $3,400. The credits are applied to hybrid vehicle sales by manufacturer, until the manufacturer has sold 60,000 hybrid vehicles.

      While companies like Toyota, Honda and Ford have used up their hybrid credits, Hyundai hasn't used a single one."
      • 4 Years Ago
      "In a nice bonus, the hybrid can go up to 62 miles per hour on battery power."

      Nice bonus?! That's a lot more than a nice bonus - at 62 miles that's a level of electric mobility to put the plugin Prius and yes even the Volt to shame! Hyundai is a latecomer to the hybrid game, but they're not playing games here :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're a little confused, there's a difference between achieving a speed of 62 mph on battery, and covering a distance of 62 miles on battery.

        This Hyundai, while quite appealing, will not travel a distance 62 miles on battery power alone.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oops! Didn't see that "per hour".
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too little too late for Hyundai. No plug? No sale.
      • 4 Years Ago
      they've been driving one around in san diego, looks pretty nice in person...the tail lights are different from the press pictures.
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