The hybrid version of the Hyundai Sonata will arrive at dealerships next month and will be priced from $26,545, including the $750 destination fee. This Sonata features Hyundai's Direct Hybrid Blue Drive system and it is equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-four mated to an electric traction motor. Power is sent through a six-speed automatic transmission.
It boasts a combined output of 206hp and 193 pound-feet of torque, and an all-electric drive speed of up to 62 mph. But it should be noted that the gas-fed engine may have to pulse on and off to assist the electric motor. When it comes to the exterior, the front end was re-sculpted to improve efficiency. As a result, the hybrid sedan offers fuel economy ratings of 36 city/40 highway mpg.
If you have $5000 more to spare, you might want to ask for the Sonata Hybrid's Premium Package, which adds a panoramic sunroof, navigation, an Infinity sound system, rearview camera, glossy black door surround, 17-inch alloy wheels, and leather seats and trim.
The Sonata Hybrid's main rivals include the Ford Fusion Hybrid ($28,990), Nissan Altima Hybrid ($27,530), Toyota Camry Hybrid ($27,335), and the Kia Optima Hybrid (no pricing revealed yet).
John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said that the Sonata Hybrid offers the mid-size sedan segment something new with a fresh appearance, a top fuel economy rating of 40-mpg highway, and of course incredible value.
Krafcik further said that the Sonata Hybrid demonstrates the brand’s unique approach when it came to combining innovative technologies with emotional design to products that people would want to buy. This was also the same with the 2.0L Sonata Turbo and direct-injection 2.4L Sonata, both released this year. At the core of this sedan’s Hybrid Blue Drive technology is the lithium polymer battery pack.
Hyundai is considered as the first automaker to incorporate an efficient battery technology to a hybrid vehicle. Aside from its innovative powertrain, the company’s engineering team also addressed all issues that concern vehicle efficiency, including clearly, that of aerodynamics. Like the other 2011 Sonatas, the Sonata hybrid also shared the "Fluidic Sculpture" design language.
Sonata Hybrid though has one thing that sets it apart -- its exterior. The front has been reshaped with the rear fascias now having a deeper air dam. The rocker panels were extended and the drag wheels have been made lower.
All of these resulted in the Sonata hybrid ensuring that the air would flow around its body and face less resistance. With a drag coefficient of 0.25, the Sonata Hybrid had the lowest in the auto industry.
This is even lower compared to the Porsche 911 GT2 RS at 0.34 and even the 2011 Nissan GT-R with 0.27. The Sonata Hybrid has all the features that help it lower the amount of energy needed to maintain highway speeds.
These included the ability to slip through the air, its low rolling resistance tires, and the Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain that features the engine decoupling. It is no wonder then that the Sonata Hybrid has the best highway fuel efficiency in the mid-size hybrid sedan market.