LA Preview: Hyundai Sonata hybrid coming, diesel Genesis unlikely

During a media event in Ann Arbor, John Krafcik, the VP for product development at Hyundai Motor America, revealed some interesting plans about they have coming to this market as well as something that isn't. Hyundai's first hybrid destined for this market will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show as a mid-sized sedan. The new Sonata hybrid will appear first at LA but won't go on sale until 2010 as a 2011 model. The Sonata will use an in-house developed strong parallel hybrid system with a lithium ion battery. It's not known if this is the same system that Hyundai has been field testing in government fleets in Korea for some time or if the battery will be a new lithium polymer type developed by LG Chem.

Krafcik also revealed some news about Genesis variants unlikely to see the light of day. He said the company has "no plans" to build a rear drive hybrid system for its new luxury sedan. He also indicated that while the company is looking at installing its 3.0L diesel V6 in the Genesis, it is unlikely to happen. The combination of the high cost of after-treatment systems to meet U.S. emissions standards and high diesel fuel prices make it a tough business case.

[Source: Green Fuels Forecast]

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