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New Hyundai Sonata Hybrid — bigger, more powerful

Image: Hyundai.

Image: Hyundai.

HYUNDAI on Tuesday unveiled its all-new Sonata Hybrid in Seoul, Korea. The all-new Sonata Hybrid features a unique hybrid design, and an upgraded powertrain that delivers class-leading fuel economy of 18.2km/ℓ.
And the Korean company is promising to expand its eco-friendly line-up in all segments under the Blue Drive sub brand by 2020.
The Sonata Hybrid will be joined next year by a plug-in hybrid variant of the Sonata, Hyundai’s first before introducing its first dedicated hybrid model in the second half next year, the company said in a statement.
The new Sonata Hybrid is powered by an efficient Nu 2.0-liter GDI hybrid engine mated to a 52hp electric motor. The petrol engine delivers 156p and 189Nm of torque. Compared to its predecessor, the new Sonata Hybrid is significantly more efficient as fuel consumption has been reduced by 0.5l/100km to just 5.5l/100km.
This engine transfers power to the road via an innovative six-speed automatic transmission. The new unit – launched in October 2014 at the company’s annual International Powertrain Conference – houses almost all of the hybrid powertrain components within the transmission, minimising energy losses and maximising fuel economy.
The transmission is fitted with a highly-efficient traction motor, while the torque converter has been removed. A lighter torsion damper, and new engine clutch, which features fewer clutch discs, reduce drag and contribute to a more efficient transfer and use of power.
As implemented in the first Sonata Hybrid, the new model is based on a full parallel hybrid architecture. The advantages of a full parallel system allow Sonata Hybrid to generate electricity captured during low engine loads and regenerative braking system to power the electric motor. When the vehicle comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine will shut down to eliminate idle fuel consumption and emissions.
Hyundai has worked on the exterior and claims the changes have resulted in a low drag coefficient of 0.24Cd, aiding fuel efficiency and stability.
Compared to the previous-generation Sonata Hybrid, the all-new Sonata Hybrid is longer (+35 mm) and wider (+30 mm), with a longer wheelbase (+10 mm), allowing more interior space. The belt line that runs the length of the car has been lowered, with a more sharply raked A-pillar to emphasise the generous proportions.
Advanced safety systems include Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Parking Sensors, Blind Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist. The car also incorporates a new knee bag to prevent injury in the event of a collision.

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