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After three months of delays due to a last-minute fix to its pedestrian warning system, 1,550 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids are due at U.S. dealers any day now.
Hyundai said about 900 Sonata Hybrids are now in port, and 650 more are on their way. Supposedly a few were delivered in January, but Ward’s Auto reports that dealers say “no one has them.”
Hyundai told AutoGuide today that the Sonata Hybrid’s pedestrian warning system needed to be modified so it is always on. Initially, the it had an on/off switch.
Already there are similar conflicts cropping up about pedestrian warning systems, as automakers grapple with varying rules around the world. In January this year President Obama signed a new law to study and then mandate some form of pedestrian warning system on hybrids and electric cars in coming years.
Anticipating the U.S. law mandating always-on pedestrian warning sound emitter, Hyundai said it proactively modified its 2011 model, potentially years in advance of when rules will actually be handed down.
Hyundai has just announced that its new Sonata Hybrid will be priced from $25,795 – a roughly $5,500 premium over the standard vehicle and approximately $1,500 more than the Turbo version. A Premium package raises the price to $30,750.
Using Hyundai Blue Drive hybrid setup the Sonata Hybrid combines a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder (which makes 169-hp and 156 ft-lbs of torque) with a 30 kW (151 ft-lb) electric motor and ground-breaking new lithium-polymer battery to make a total of 209-hp and 195 ft-lbs of torque.
Along with pricing, Hyundai has also announced official EPA fuel economy numbers which are 35-mpg city and 40-mpg highway. That’s one highway mpg more than projected, but 2-mpg city less.
Base models come equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, stability control, 16-inch wheels, LED headlight accents, LED taillights, fog lights, unique bodywork, remote keyless entry with proximity entry and a push-button ignition, a 4.2-inch trip computer display, dual-zone climate control, power driver’s seat with lumbar, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls not to mention iPod, USB and Aux. jacks.
The Premium package includes a panoramic roof, 17-inch wheels, Navigation, a backup camera, a 400-watt audio system, leather and piano black interior trim.
GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Official release after the jump:
When Hyundai launched its new Sonata Hybrid a few months back, skeptics wondered what the Korean automaker would do to back its hybrid powertrain. Known for one of the best warranties in the business on the rest of its products, no info was provided about a warranty on the new lithium-polymer setup used in the hybrid – the first use of a lithium-polymer battery in a car.
At a technical seminar last week at the company’s HACHI R&D facility in Detroit, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik confirmed the car will get a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, exceeding the 8 year/100,000 mile warranty Toyota offers on the Prius.
This guarantee should help resale values for the cars, although finding a buyer is still likely difficult once that end-date approaches.
Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review by Clicking Here
Debuting alongside the new performance-oriented 2.0T model, Hyundai has just unveiled the Sonata Hybrid at the New York Auto Show with an impressive 37-mpg city and 39-mpg highway. To put those numbers in perspective, the current class leader (if you don’t count the Prius) is the Ford Fusion Hybrid with 41/36 mpg (city/highway). And thanks to several unique features, the Sonata Hybrid has a lot more going for it than just fuel economy.
Hyundai’s Blue Drive hybrid setup is a full parallel hybrid system, meaning it can operate on gasoline power, electric power or a combination of both. Combining Hyundai’s 2.4-liter Theta II 4-cylinder (which makes 169-hp and 156 ft-lbs of torque) with a 30 kW (151 ft-lb) electric motor and ground-breaking new lithium-polymer battery, the Sonata Hybrid makes a total of 209-hp and 195 ft-lbs of torque.
Rather than a CVT transmission (typical of hybrids), Hyundai chose to use a conventional six-speed automatic that has been adapted with an electric motor and oil pump rather than a torque converter. Not only does this retain the typical driving feel of an automatic, but, says Hyundai, it’s cheaper to produce – a savings that is passed on to the consumer. The top three gears of the transmission have been modified to be even longer, allowing the engine to rev lower and, therefore, save fuel.
Another impressive feature of the Blue Drive setup is that it allows for pure electric driving at speeds of up to 62-mph. This tops the already impressive 47-mph speed of the Fusion Hybrid. Hyundai claims the typical American driver operates their vehicle in “highway mode” 57 percent of the time, so this hightened “electric only” speed is what helps the car achieve its 39-mpg highway rating.
The lithium-polymer battery used is the first ever for an automaker, with significant advantages over the nickle-metal hybrid battery used in cars like the Prius, or even the lithium-ion unit used in the upcoming Chevy Volt. Compared to nickle-metal hydride batteries, a lithium-polymer unit can deliver the same power with 20 to 30 percent less weight, 40 percent less volume and 10 percent improved efficiency. They also hold their charge 1.25 times longer. Compared to the more advanced lithium-ion battery, Hyundai claims its system has a higher energy density, lower manufacturing cost and it can withstand more charging cycles. In total, Hyundai says the lithium-polymer battery is tested to run maintenance free for 10 years and 150,000 miles.
The lithium-polymer battery is also quite light, weighing just 95.9 lbs and due to its compact size doesn’t intrude as much on the cargo compartment – the battery being located behind the rear seats. As a result the Sonata Hybrid retains 10.7 cubic feet of cargo room, compared to the standard model’s 16.4 cu.ft-. rating. The battery’s weight, when combined with the Sonata’s overall light chassis, results in the lowest curb weight of any vehicle in the segment at 3,457 lbs. That’s 263 lbs less than the Fusion Hybrid.
Distinguishing the Hybrid model from the rest of the Sonata lineup is a unique front-end design, which Hyundai has estimated will get an impressive 0.25 drag coefficient – the same as the current Prius. The Sonata Hybrid will also stand out from its gasoline-powered siblings thanks to special paint.
Inside the Hybrid model will come with unique interior colors and seat fabrics and all models will get Hyundai’s new Hybrid Technology Display. Automobile information is displayed on either a standard 4.2-inch LCD screen between the odometer and tachometer or on an optional 7-inch navigation screen. Info included on the display will range from the driving mode, energy flow, battery power, average and instant fuel economy and an electric vehicle mode indicator. There’s even an Eco Level “scoring system” which works like Ford’s growing vines, although Hyundais system has a color changing sky to indicate eight different levels of fuel efficient driving.
The 2011 Sonata Hybrid is just the latest fuel efficient model from Hyundai, which is ranked by the EPA as the most fuel efficient automaker in North America and the only one with an average fleet fuel economy of over 30 mpg.
GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
See more on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid after the jump:
Hyundai has just released the above teaser image of the Sonata Hybrid, which will get its world premiere at the New York Auto Show next week. The new 2011 Sonata (reviewed here) already has quite the sleek profile, but this hybrid version aims to give an aggressive and sporty appeal to cars in the hybrid segment.
And while it seems to share to visual resemblance with the new Sonata, it looks mostly identical (at least from this teaser shot) to the i-Flow concept, recently unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. The i-Flow is said to inspire the European version of the new Sonata and it would seem as though the hybrid Sonata will share that look.
As for the Hybrid Sonata’s engine, Hyundai has released no info on the powerplant other than that it will use a lithium-polymer battery. We’ve heard two possible options, the first using the company’s 2.4-liter GDI Theta II engine, while the other could use the Blue-Will Concept’s 1.6-liter direct injection engine. The later, Hyundai claims, is capable of 50-55 mpg.
Hit the link below starting on the 31st for our live updates from the NY Auto Show:
GALLERY: Hyundai i-Flow Concept
Kia has just released a single teaser image of a new plug-in hybrid concept called the Ray. Set to debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month, little is known about the new vehicle other than that it was created by the team at the Kia Design Center America. It appears to feature a solar panel roof and has a bit of a Honda CR-Z flare to it with a chopped-off back end.
Kia parent company Hyundai has been showing its Blue-Will hybrid concept at several auto shows recently and so we expect the Kia Ray to be similar in many ways. The Blue-Will is powered by a 152-hp 1.6-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine and a 100kW electric motor and uses a lithium-polymer battery pack to achieve 50-55 mpg in standard hybrid mode, or as much as 106 mpg in plug-in hybrid mode.
Hyundai has said the Blue-Will could see production as a Prius competitor and so we have to think Kia has similar plans. Hyundai has also said it will deliver a hybrid version of the new Sonata later this year.
We’ll be sure to bring you more on the Kia Ray PHEV concept with live coverage of the Chicago Auto Show starting February 11th.
Compact PHEV based on Blue-Will Concept to go on sale in 2012
While Hyundai has already announced plans to enter the hybrid market in 2011 with a hybrid version of the new Sonata, due out in 2011, the company has now made clear plans for a state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid electric for 2012. This new model will be based on the Blue-Will Concept, which debuted at this year’s Seoul Auto Show and will be aimed squarely at the Toyota Prius PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), as well as the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.
Yang Woong-chul, the head of R&D at Hyundai told Automotive News that the Hyundai PHEV will be powered by a 1.6-liter direct injection powerplant and a 100kw electric motor, with a range of 38 miles on just electric power. When in gasoline mode the acr will achieve an average of 55 mpg.
Woong-chul did not say if the Hyundai PEV would use the same lithium-polymer technology expected in he 2011 Sonata, which Hyundai claims is superior to the lithium-ion batteries that will be used in the Toyota and Chevy PHEVs.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]