2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid priced from $26,610

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 23, 2011

The price tag on the 2012 Hyundai Sonata hybrid will say $26,610 (with shipping charges already included). This is just $55 more expensive than the 2011 model. To be offered as standard equipment on the hybrid is the Blue Link telematics system by Hyundai. This comes with all of the options on safety, service and infotainment except for navigation (which is an optional extra).

The drivers’ smartphones can lock and unlock the car as well as control other functions. All they need to do is download the Blue Link app. Blue Link also features voice activation. What’s new for the 2012 model is the Leather package priced at $1,500. This comes with leather seats, shift knob, and steering wheel; heated front and rear seats; a compass; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink.

In the prior model, these options could only be found on the Sonata’s top trim level. Meanwhile, the Ultimate package priced at $5,500 has all of the Leather package’s options but adds a sunroof, a set of 17-inch wheels, navigation, a backup camera, premium sound and several other luxurious trim options.

This hybrid gets Hyundai's 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with the six-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder is capable of delivering 166 hp while the electric motor puts in an extra 40 hp to achieve a total system output of 206 hp. It has a fuel economy rating of 40 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg when driving in the city.

Hyundai’s all-new 2012 Sonata models – Sonata 2.0T and Sonata Hybrid – will be the first vehicles to offer all three fuel-efficient powertrain technologies that automakers around the world are working out to implement: GDI or gasoline direct-injection, full-hybrid powertrains, and twin-scroll turbochargers. These two cars will be joining the GDI-equipped Sonata in showrooms in late 2010.

When Hyundai launched the 2011 Sonata Hybrid at the 2010 New York Auto Show, it changed the game in the world of hybrid vehicles with its unique approach in battery technology, hybrid powertrain design, and overall look. The Sonata Hybrid is the South Korean carmaker’s first hybrid car in the American market.

John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America President and Chief Executive Office, says that the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s full parallel hybrid configuration as well as its lithium polymer batteries brings to the table a new take on conventional hybrid design. Meanwhile, he adds, the new hybrid car’s unique design is what sets it apart from the pack of mid-size hybrid vehicles.

Hyundai developed the Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, which is a full parallel hybrid drive system that operates on an electric motor, a gasoline internal combustion engine, and a combination of both, depending on current driving conditions and demands. Most competitors use the power split technology, which differs from Hyundai’s proprietary full parallel system, which is the first and the only system that uses lithium polymer battery. Lithium polymer battery technology gives you the benefits of lithium-ion and is the same technology being used in mobile phones and laptops. However, it adds to the power density, the package flexibility, and the robustness, making it the ideal technology to be used for automotive applications.

Moreover, the Hybrid Blue Drive is unique in its use of Hyundai’s own efficient and compact new six-speed transmission, which was modified with electric motor, low-friction oil pump, and hybrid starter generator. Together, all of these allow the traditional torque converter to be eliminated.

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