• Feb 24, 2011

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

In mid-October, Hyundai announced that its 2011 Sonata Hybrid would be eligible for a $1,300 tax credit. The electrified midsize sedan was scheduled to hit dealerships in late 2010 and the first 60,000 buyers in line to plop down some cash for the Sonata Hybrid would've pocketed that credit. However, there was a hitch: the Sonata Hybrid was delayed, dashing any chance of snagging the $1,300 credit.

What caused the delay? Well, according to Hyundai chief executive officer John Krafcik, a last-minute modification to the vehicle's "virtual engine sound" system, made "amazingly late in the process" was the culprit. The automaker initially developed the Sonata Hybrid with a feature that would allow drivers to disable the vehicle's pedestrian warning system, but after the Senate and House voted to approve a measure requiring hybrids and plug-in vehicles to automatically emit audible sounds at low speeds, Hyundai's manual disable functionality had to be axed.

According to Green Car Reports, that modification required changes to the vehicle's wiring harnesses, user-interface software and owner's manual, which caused the lengthy delay. Hyundai delivered the first 2011 Sonata Hybrid in January.



Photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Green Car Reports]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Has the Sonota Hybrid gotten EPA numbers, as well as final pricing yet??

      I hope the delay isn't BS like what Nissan has been going through with their Leaf. Making a sound not be disabled doesn't really sound like something that should be more than a few hours worth of work for the engineers that designed this thing. Saying that they'd need to change the wiring harness and stuff sounds like excuses to me since most of that should be rather simple programming especially since the vehicle was already designed to make the sound already.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll take my Sonata hybrid with a Ferrari soundtrack screaming at redline...thank you.

      Maybe one day you'll be able to download different sounds that your electric car can make, that would be interesting
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mark my words - this is going to turn into a mini business not unlike ring tones for cell phones.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I kinda like this idea. why not make it so you can down load different sounds and make it sound like you want.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm all for fake engine noises if it sounds like a Jetsons car
      • 3 Years Ago
      Id pipe some LF-A engine/exhaust sounds through the car. That way the sight-impaired folks can at least think there is something awesome coming down the street, not a hybrid Sonata (which isnt a bad car by any means).
      • 3 Years Ago
      This does not look as good as the gas powered Sonata but not suprised the hybrid loving moon bats are lining up to pay over sticker. For those of us who enjoy driving and don't only tootle around town at under the speed limit ( like most Prius and Honda hybrid drivers) why can't North America have the excellent 2.2crdi engine that the rest of the world gets.. well over 40mpg on the highway and loads of torque. Keep your hybrids and the hype that goes with them..where is my crdi?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man....the front end of that thing is all sorts of ugly mess. WTF, it looks like stink bug!
        • 3 Years Ago
        farmer, it's obvious you are biased if you have a Sonata and think the new one looks good. It doesn't, get over it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed. It's a shame too because the rest of the car isn't really that bad...for a hyundai.
        • 3 Years Ago
        well for such a ugly front end on the sonata "AS YOU CALL IT" Hyundai sure can't keep sonata's on the dealerships and if I read this story right, there is a waiting list for this sonata. ugly must be the new beautiful because the sonata is the best looking car out there on the market with out any question. add in the value of Hyundai and the price and warranty's and this is clearly the best bang for you buck.

        I have a 2007 Hyundai sonata with 136000 miles ( most highway miles )and knock on wood but it still runs perfect with only new tires, brakes at 90000 in the back and 120000 in the front. This car has given me incredible bang for my buck and the new sonata is even more beautiful and graceful looking now so I can't see what is not to love unless your a hater of Hyundai.
        • 3 Years Ago
        one for vote for YUCK, that is an ugly front end.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Now blind people can hear the throaty roar of a simulated V8 coming from a speaker!!!

        With a software upgrade I can make the Sonata Hybrid sound like a HEMI V8 6.1 with Corsa exhaust.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought they were delaying it to fix the ugly. Guess not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      REALLY!?! I mean really their going to delay for a fake motor sound?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @benz,
        I was wondering the same thing. Is this a cover story to hide a real reason?
      • 3 Years Ago
      They stalled to see if they could fix the left pull in these new models.
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