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2011 Hyundai Elantra

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai Veloster Concept
Hyundai looks to expand its range of fuel efficient vehicles

The auto industry these days has its eyes on Hyundai. Hyundai has made great strides over the past two decades when it comes to improving its quality, reliability, and public image. Hyundai has gone from making the simply terrible Excel from the 80s to making credible luxury sedans like the Genesis and Equus today (along with a full stable of more mainstream vehicles).

Now, Hyundai is looking to make a huge leap in fuel efficiency for its vehicles according to Detroit News. Hyundai's North American CEO, John Krafcik, is looking to boost the fleet fuel efficiency average from a current level of 30.9 mpg (the industry's highest total) to a whopping 50 mpg within the next 15 years.

"We're committing today to a 50 mpg target by 2025," stated Krafcik. "We're all in. Let's go as far as we can. We don't know how to get there."

Hyundai will need to devote as much as 20 percent of its production to hybrid/plug-in hybrid vehicles and roughly 5 percent of production to electric vehicles to meet that lofty goal.

Hyundai is already well on its way to boosting fuel efficiency across the board with its mainstream vehicles. The Hyundai Sonata is among the most fuel efficient midsize family sedans available on the U.S. market with fuel economy ratings of 24/35 mpg city/highway with its standard 198 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. For those that crave more power, the 274 hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine option beats its competitors' V6 offerings in power and fuel efficiency at 22/34 mpg.

The Sonata will also be available in a hybrid variant which will achieve EPA ratings of 37 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.

Next year, Hyundai is also bringing its 40 mpg Veloster which looks to upset Honda's hybrid-only CR-Z along with a subcompact Accent and compact Elantra which will both approach 40 mpg.

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RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By Yawgm0th on 8/5/2010 12:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
Weight. Weight, weight, weight.

If you Google "average fuel economy over time" or something similar. you will get an EPA PDF somewhere in there that shows you average vehicle weight and average fuel economy over time for different sectors. The fuel economy has barely changed since 1980, but weight has increased steadily.

If you extrapolate from the average efficiency in 1980 and the weight gain, it comes out to something ridiculous, like 50-60mpg average for cars. Safety features, market demand, and emission reductions have demanded cars continue to increase in weight. This is good overall, but yes, it has severely limited fuel efficiency over time.

I think hybrid technology will come down in price and the weight gain and size gain trend in vehicles will slow, and engine efficiency will continue to increase. Just give it five or ten years.

RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By tng on 8/5/2010 12:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
OK I will buy that. I still wonder though how one of the SMART cars would fare in the same crash that my old Civic died in.

I have been waiting for the CR-X, but that new Hyundai Veloce (?) pictured at the bottom of the page looks nice. All my Japanese friends would disown me if I bought one though...

RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By mellomonk on 8/5/2010 1:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
OK I will buy that. I still wonder though how one of the SMART cars would fare in the same crash that my old Civic died in.

The car would die, but you wouldn't. The Smart is light years safer then that old Civic, as is all modern cars. Smart actually markets the safety of their Triton Cage Frame design. There are numerous crash test vids on the net.

RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/2010 10:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
Weight. Weight, weight, weight.

Yup. Also average horsepower is now WAY UP. In the 80's a "sports" car would have horsepower in the 200's. We laugh at that now. Who doesn't have 200+ HP these days?

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