Hyundai Sonata Adds Plug-in Hybrid Electric Powertrain

Hyundai Sonata Adds Plug-in Hybrid Electric Powertrain

Two new Hyundai Sonata models are being introduced for 2016 and not surprisingly both focus on efficiency.

Marking its return this year is the hybrid model, while an all-new Sonata plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has joined the family.

This is the first plug-in vehicle Hyundai has ever offered. The Sonata is expected to get 22 miles of electric-only power off a single charge from its 9.8 kWh battery pack. Using a stage-two charger the Sonata should be able to replenish its electrical goodness in around two-and-a-half hours.

Power for the Sonata PHEV comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. Paired up to a 50 kW electric motor this system’s total output clocks in at 202 hp. That electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the one used in the regular Sonata Hybrid, which allows for pure-EV operation.

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Both hybrids use a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. Fully charged, this should net the Sonata PHEV a combined MPGe rating of 93. When the charge is depleted, the Plug-in Hybrid is expected to return 38 MPG city and 43 highway.

Both Sonata hybrids receive exterior tweaks that lower their aerodynamic drag to just 0.24. But unlike the last-generation Sonata Hybrid the new cars do not drastically differ in exterior design compared to their all-gasoline counterparts. That said, there will be two exclusive paint colors available for the hybrids.

As is becoming the norm with modern plug-in and electric vehicles, owners of the Sonata PHEV can monitor and schedule their cars’ charging times via apps on their smartphones.

The Sonata Hybrid is set to go on sale later this year.