Hyundai is nothing if not ambitious. The Korean automaker announced today that it will continue its efforts to be the most fuel-efficient automaker in America through the next two decades, with plans to achieve a Corporate Average Fuel Economy rating of 50 miles per gallon by 2025 for its entire vehicle lineup.
The cornerstone of Hyundai's approach is its Blue Drive strategy, which incorporates a range of engine technologies – from turbocharging and direct-injection to lightweight materials and both traditional and plug-in hybrids – to reduce consumption and improve overall efficiency.
Hyundai points to the 2011 Sonata as the first in a wave of new products to utilize its new and improved drivetrains, available with either hybrid, turbocharged and naturally aspirated engines. And Hyundai appears to be in a better position than other full-line automakers to reach its lofty mpg goal, as it doesn't offer any pickup or body-on-frame SUV models. Hit the jump for the full blast and read our First Drive of the Sonata Hybrid for details on its gas-electric system.
- Since 2008 Hyundai has been the most fuel-efficient manufacturer in the U.S.
- Since becoming the leader in fuel economy, Hyundai market share is up 50 percent
- Hyundai's next goal: Average at least 50 mpg by 2025 through innovative Blue Drive™ technologies
Hyundai Motor America, the leading fuel economy auto manufacturer in the U.S., announced plans to maintain its leadership and achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating of at least 50 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025 for its lineup of passenger cars and light duty trucks.
Current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations require automakers to achieve a CAFE rating of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Before those rules were enacted last year, Hyundai had already announced its own plan to reach 35 mpg by 2015. Hyundai's announcement of this longer-term goal of delivering a minimum 50 mpg CAFE rating by 2025 is consistent with its philosophy of setting stretch objectives that align its resources, challenge its team members, and delight consumers and society.
"We're committed to setting the pace in this industry on fuel economy, and we're inspired by the possibilities that our advanced Blue Drive technologies afford," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. "Getting to 50 mpg and beyond seems like a huge leap, but by making this commitment and aligning our R&D initiatives now, we know we can get there."
Hyundai has shown that customers will flock to high-quality, stylish products offering high fuel economy. The game-changing all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata is the first mid-size family sedan to offer only 4-cylinder engines. Sonata achieves an EPA highway rating of 35 mpg, yet leads competitors in power output through the use of advanced gasoline direct injection (GDI). Sonata's sales were up 48 percent in the first half of 2010, while its transaction prices and residual values now exceed those of most mid-size competitors. The Sonata and its 2.4-liter Theta II GDI engine are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
"This is our simple formula for success in the automobile industry," said Krafcik. "Rather than fighting fuel economy regulation, we encourage our Hyundai engineers to deliver more fuel efficiency, faster, accelerating the benefits to our customers, society, and the planet."
Since becoming the fuel economy leader in the 2008 model year, Hyundai Motor America market share is up more than 50 percent.
A Global Research and Development Effort
Hyundai's plan to achieve an average of 50 mpg or better encompasses a full line of products, from small cars to larger family haulers. It leverages Hyundai's global Blue Drive strategy, aligning R&D resources at its engineering centers in California, Michigan, Korea, India and Germany to develop more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies. Key enablers are improvements and innovation in powertrains including gasoline direct injection, turbocharging, electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, light-weight materials and design, and more.
2011 Sonata Leads the Way
The 2011 Sonata, which went on sale earlier this year, features a 2.4-liter Theta II GDI 4-cylinder as its base engine, offering up to 200 horsepower and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. By offering only 4-cylinder engines and through other weight optimization efforts, Hyundai engineers were able to reduce the weight of the Sonata by 130 pounds.
This fall, Hyundai will launch the 2.0T 4-cylinder turbo option for the 2011 Sonata and the company's first hybrid in the United States. The Sonata Hybrid features a 2.4-liter Theta II 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor-boosted 6-speed automatic transmission. The Sonata Hybrid incorporates an industry-first lithium polymer battery, which packs greater power density and stability into a smaller, more package-efficient space.
Sonata's Hybrid Blue Drive system eschews the typical continuously variable transmission for a more consumer-friendly step-shift 6-speed transmission, which makes the system more cost-effective and more readily adaptable to other future applications. Sonata exemplifies Hyundai's efforts to bring advanced power train technologies to the mainstream.
Fuel Economy Leadership Since 2008 Model Year
Hyundai achieved fuel economy leadership by topping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy report for the 2008 model year. The EPA 2009 Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report indicates that Hyundai has the highest 2008 model year laboratory 55/45 fuel economy at 30.9 mpg. Hyundai passed all major manufacturers in combined passenger car and light duty truck fuel efficiency including traditional leaders like Honda and Toyota. The report demonstrates the effectiveness of Hyundai's value-driven fuel-efficiency strategy, which focuses on the intelligent application of cost-effective technologies.
Hyundai is poised to maintain its fuel-economy leadership as projected data for the 2009 model year shows Hyundai retaining its edge over the industry. Forecasts show a 2009 model-year fuel economy rating of 30.1 mpg for passenger cars and light duty trucks. Hyundai is also the only automaker to top 30 mpg in the 2009 projections.
Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Reports
* From EPA Table A-7 2009 Trends Report (Appendix A) http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/fetrends/420r09014-appx-a.pdf
**Includes ten highest-volume manufacturers. Based on sales projections for the ten highest volume manufacturers. EPA Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975-2009 Report. Honda includes combined Honda and Acura brands. Hyundai excludes Kia brand.