Hyundai Motor Co. listed the advantages that the 2011 Sonata Hybrid, its first US hybrid, has over its rivals from Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. Hyundai would like to emphasize the edge of its model when it comes to cost and performance.
Scheduled to be available this year, the 2011 Sonata Hybrid utilizes a system that's lighter than those in hybrid versions of Toyota's Camry or Ford's Fusion.
At the New York Auto Show, John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai's U.S. unit, said that the new Sonata is capable of better acceleration.
Lee Ki Sang, a senior vice president of Seoul-based Hyundai and head of its hybrid program, disclosed that the lithium-polymer battery is about 20% lighter.
Lee also shares that overall, this model has much lower cost throughout the system. What Hyundai would like to promote is that it has the highest average miles per gallon under U.S. rules.
Hyundai wants to appeal to buyers who are concerned that gasoline prices would go back to the levels that they were in 2008. With that in mind, Hyundai made sure that its vehicles are very fuel-efficient and that these cars have improved fuel engines.
The US government has long been urging carmakers to improve corporate average fuel economy to 35 mpg. Krafcik claims that the Sonata Hybrid will average 38 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Hyundai has yet to announce pricing or a sales target for the new model.