Last week at the LA Auto Show, Hyundai showed off its first hybrid system for the US market that will debut in the next generation Sonata. Following the press conference, Green Fuels Forecast sat down with John Krafcik, then VP Product development (as of today, he's Acting CEO of Hyundai America) to talk in more detail about the system. Turns out Hyundai has created a drivetrain with elements of both mild and strong hybrid systems available today. The motor in the 6-speed automatic transmissions provides electric boost and regenerative braking while an integrated starter generator provides the automatic start-stop functionality. The Sonata is also likely to be the first hybrid available here with a lithium polymer battery pack. In classic Hyundai fashion, Krafcik expects the Sonata hybrid to be the most affordable hybrid in the mid-sized segment with mileage that tops at least the current Camry hybrid, although probably not the new Fusion. The new Sonata debuts about a year from now with the hybrid coming in 2010.

[Source: Green Fuels Forecast]

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