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Sonata Hybrid

Sonata Turbo
Hyundai drops a few bombs on the midsize sedan market

Hyundai is continuing its steady stream of product updates with two more iterations of the all-new Sonata. We've already discussed the Sonata on a few occasions here on DailyTech, but Hyundai today released official details on both the new Sonata Hybrid and the Sonata Turbo.

First up is the new Sonata Hybrid. The new hybrid features revised front and rear bodywork to make it stand apart from the standard Sonata models. The body revisions also help the Sonata Hybrid to better slip through the air.

Most importantly, however, is the new Hyundai "Hybrid Blue Drive" powertrain. A 169 hp, 2.4-liter four cylinder engine is paired with a 40 hp electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The Sonata Hybrid eschews the continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is typically used in hybrid vehicles and instead uses a more traditional six-speed automatic transmission.

When all is said and done, the 3,457-pound Sonata Hybrid (263 pounds lighter than the Ford Fusion Hybrid) is able to achieve city fuel economy of 37 mpg and highway fuel economy of 39 mpg. For comparison, the Ford Fusion Hybrid achieves figures of 41 mpg and 36 mpg respectively.

The other big news from Hyundai is the announcement of the Sonata Turbo. We've previously discussed that Hyundai has done away with a V6 engine option for the all-new Sonata. Following the announcement of Sonata Turbo, we can see why. The Sonata Turbo uses a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which develops an impressive 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque (maximum torque is achieved at a low 1,800 rpm) -- all while using regular unleaded gasoline.

Even more embarrassing for its V6-powered competitors like Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord is the fact that the tiny little turbo four surpasses all of them in horsepower and torque figures. The Sonata Turbo will also delivery fuel economy of 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway -- not far off from the standard 198 hp Sonata. For comparison, the closest V6 competitor to the Sonata Turbo in fuel economy is the Honda Accord V6 which is rated at 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

With these two announcements, Hyundai appears to be having no problem at all moving towards the governments goal of increased fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles.

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RE: Nearing 300HP from 4 Cylinders
By spread on 3/31/2010 4:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need premium for those engines. You can put 89 in a turbo engine no problem, 87 octane if the engine has a small turbo with little boost... like the Subaru WRX.

RE: Nearing 300HP from 4 Cylinders
By Alexvrb on 3/31/2010 8:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, although performance does suffer a bit on lower octane fuel. Oh, and they do get somewhat poor gas mileage... not that you'd care much if you are in that market. Anyway the WRX utilizes a 2.5L, and the small-turbo WRX variant produces considerably less power and torque than this Hyundai (supposedly on 87 octane too). The STI obviously produces a lot more power, but I don't recommend 87 or even really 89 octane for that beast. The Evo on the other hand has a pretty impressive 2.0L engine, at least from the aspect of "woo hoo, nearly 300HP from a stock 2.0L".

However, by itself, looking at HP/cylinder or HP/L doesn't really help anyone. Looking at the power curves tells you much more, and looking at the final performance of a vehicle, including fuel economy, makes even more sense. If you built a 300/300 V6 and it got better mileage than a 300/300 L4 (all else remaining equal, same body, trans, gearing, etc), I'd say the V6 is more impressive.

RE: Nearing 300HP from 4 Cylinders
By EJ257 on 4/1/2010 10:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that because the recommended octane they have in the owner's manual is based on the Japanese standard? US 87 octane is equivalent to 91 octane in Japan and that's what they tell you to use anyway.

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