NAIAS: 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 13, 2015

The 2015 Detroit Auto Show was the place chosen by Hyundai to launch its first plug-in hybrid model, the 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). This new model uses a 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine producing 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a 50kW electric motor. The total output delivered by the system is 202 hp at 6,000 rpm.

Moreover, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) as well as a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery pack. According to Hyundai, the battery can store enough energy to offer an all-electric range of up to 22 miles.

Sonata PHEV is expected to deliver 93 MPGe combined in EV mode, 38 mpg in the city, 43 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg combined. Charging the battery takes from two and a half hours at 240V Level 2 charging station to five hours using a standard 120V outlet.

Regarding the design, the 2016 Sonata PHEV can be easily distinguished from the hybrid Sonata models and features a charging port on the driver front fender, a unique front grille, new front and rear bumpers, front genders, new front and rear lights, as well as chrome side sill moldings.

And this is not all as the vehicle arrives with Hybrid badging and new wheels. Inside, the distinctive instrument cluster offers additional information about the PHEV system’s functions, while a charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard.

Only two exterior paint colours options will be available on the Sonata PHEV: Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist. Inside, the color choices include gray and beige in cloth or leather seating configurations and a new Blue Pearl option for leather seats.

Press Release

2016 HYUNDAI SONATA HYBRID DELIVERS INCREASED FUEL ECONOMY, SOPHISTICATED DESIGN

Today Hyundai introduced the Hybrid version of its award-winning seventh-generation Sonata at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Sonata Hybrid continues to visually differentiate itself from other Sonata models with purposefully unique wheels and front and rear fascias that improve aerodynamics while highlighting Sonata Hybrid’s advanced technology and efficiency. The 2016 Sonata Hybrid fuel economy is expected to improve more than 10 percent. Sonata Hybrid will be built at Hyundai’s Asan, South Korea assembly plant and will go on sale early this summer.

POWERTRAIN

The heart of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid is the downsized 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a more powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found. Sonata Hybrid’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) delivers the same responsive, engaging driving characteristics Sonata owners expect while improving fuel economy through the use of the larger electric motor.

This innovative transmission has been upgraded significantly since its introduction with the original Sonata Hybrid and now uses an electric oil pump, which helps improve efficiency. It is possible for Sonata Hybrid to operate solely on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph by decoupling the gasoline engine from the rest of the drivetrain.

Sonata Hybrid’s Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor produces 38 kW (51 horsepower) and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Hybrid system net power is 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Sonata Hybrid is expected to achieve up to 39 mpg in the city, 44 mpg on the highway and have a combined EPA rating of 42 mpg, which is more than a 10 percent improvement from the 2015 model.

The lithium-polymer battery pack capacity is 1.62 kWh, a 13 percent improvement, and the battery pack now fits under the trunk floor, which allows for a flat trunk floor as well as available 60/40 split-folding rear seats. 2016 Sonata Hybrid offers best-in-class cargo volume at 13.3 cu. ft., a 10 percent improvement over the previous Sonata Hybrid, thanks to the compact battery pack dimensions and efficient design. Locating the battery pack beneath the trunk floor gives Sonata Hybrid best-in-class passenger volume at 106.1 cu. ft.

DESIGN

The award-winning design of the latest Sonata is enhanced by a series of functional changes to the front and rear fascias for the 2016 Sonata Hybrid that highlight its efficiency and the advanced technology below the surface. These visual changes also lower the coefficient of drag to an exceptionally low 0.24; the lowest in its class and identical to the Tesla Model S. Visual changes to the Hybrid’s exterior include a unique larger grille, front and rear bumpers, front fenders, front and rear lights, chrome side sill moldings, Hybrid badging and new wheels. A distinctive instrument cluster with color LCD multi-purpose display provides Hybrid drivers with additional information about the hybrid system’s operation.

Sonata Hybrid will offer two exclusive exterior paint options: Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist. Interior color choices include gray and beige in cloth or leather seating configurations and an all-new Blue Pearl option for leather seats. Sonata Hybrids equipped with Blue Pearl leather seats will include contrast stitching and trim accent pieces.

SAFETY FEATURES

2016 Sonata Hybrid comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a rearview camera are also standard. Projector headlamps are standard while HID headlamps are available.

Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the 2016 Sonata Hybrid to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies such as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist and a Lane Departure Warning System are all available in this midsize sedan.

Sonata Hybrid’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. This Lane Change Assist technology is a segment-exclusive active safety feature. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Departure Warning System uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning on the instrument cluster illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver.

Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another feature derived from the 2016 Sonata Hybrid’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the Sonata Hybrid when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers utilize the active safety technology.

CONVENIENT TECHNOLOGY

The 2016 Sonata Hybrid delivers the convenient technology one would expect in a luxury vehicle in an incredibly efficient mid-size hybrid sedan. Hyundai’s hands-free Smart Trunk is now available on the Hybrid as well as an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, a driver memory seat, rear window sunshades, heated steering wheel, LED interior lights, ventilated front seats, power front seats with 4-way adjustable driver lumbar and Smart Cruise Control featuring full stop capability.

MULTIMEDIA

All 2016 Sonata Hybrids come standard with iPod®/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM® satellite radio and Bluetooth® phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include an 8.0-inch navigation system with downloadable apps, HD radio and Infinity premium audio system with next-generation Blue Link® telematics.

Hyundai’s 8.0-inch navigation system offers an enhanced display with improved touch sensitivity, a map and music split screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets 1-6. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer. Rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on a sports broadcast. SiriusXM Travel Link® provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times. All 2016 Sonata Hybrids equipped with navigation will also support Pandora® and SoundHound applications as well as “Eyes Free” Siri integration, which allows drivers to perform a variety of functions without taking their eyes off the road. Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto will take smartphone integration to the next level on the Sonata Hybrid later this year.

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