AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Hyundai appears to be strengthening its position in the hybrid marketplace, announcing that the Sonata Hybrid will get a lifetime warranty on its battery pack.
Hyundai hopes that by offering a lifetime warranty on the Sonata Hybrid’s battery that it’ll persuade buyers still skeptical about the long-term life of a hybrid battery. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik recently told Car and Driver that they “can afford the program because the failure rate is so low.”
Through some rigorous testing, Hyundai has seen “minimal degradation of its output or duration of operation” of its Sonata Hybrid’s battery pack, even after 300,000-miles of use.
Those were the only details that the Korean automaker announced, so it’s unsure whether or not the coverage will extend to other hybrid components. Either way, it’s a big step up from Toyota, which only offers an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its hybrid batteries.
Hyundai is slightly increasing the price for their 2012 Sonata Hybrid, bumping the MSRP by $55 to $26,610 compared to the 2011 model. Also new for the 2012 model will be a Leather Package, priced at $1,500, offering leather seats, steering wheel and shift knob.
The Leather Package will also come with front and rear heated seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink and a compass. The Leather Package was previously only offered on the top-of-the-line Sonata model.
Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system will also come standard on the hybrid model and drivers will be able to download the phone app in order to lock and unlock their car and to control other functions remotely.
Those looking to splurge on their Sonata Hybrid can also opt for the Ultimate Package, priced at $5,500. That package includes everything in the previously mentioned Leather Package but also adds 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, navigation, backup camera, premium sound and a few other luxurious trim options.
The Sonata Hybrid will remain with a 2.4L Atksinson-cycle engine under the hood with 166-hp while the electric motor will add 40-hp for a total output of 206-hp. Fuel economy is still rated at 40-mpg on the highway and 35-mpg in the city.
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: