The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gets updated with advanced safety features, improved cabin space and an upgraded and more fuel efficient powertrain.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was unveiled at an event in Seoul, South Korea as the automaker expands its footprint in the growing green car market. Sporting exterior changes and a revised powertrain, the second generation Sonata Hybrid took 27 months to complete and attracted an investment of $164.2 million. The model has grown significantly larger over the outgoing version and incorporates advanced features along with best in class fuel efficiency. Based on the Fluidic Sculpture Design 2.0, the hybrid gets a revised grille, new alloy wheels, full underbody cover and a low drag diffuser at the rear. The new model is also aerodynamically more efficient than its predecessor.
Sporting major changes under the hood, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gets upgrades in the form of the new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder ‘Nu’ petrol engine that produces 156 PS and 189 Nm of torque. This engine is paired to an electric motor that generates an additional 38 kW (50 HP) of power and 205 Nm of torque. Power to the wheels are sent via the new 6-speed automatic transmission that replaces the torque converter seen on the older model and benefits from a new engine clutch and a lighter torsion damper. The automaker has also replaced the mechanical oil pump with an electric unit, all of which aid in improved fuel efficiency on the hybrid model.
The 2015 Sonata Hybrid is now significantly more fuel efficient than the outgoing model returning a figure of 18.2 km/l (Korean cycle) with 16-inch wheels (you also get optional 17-inch) and also gets 13.3 percent higher capacity lithium-ion batteries, which are now located under the boot floor thereby improving the boot capacity on the hybrid saloon. The new Sonata also emits a relatively smaller carbon footprint at 91 g/km, while the outgoing model emitted 100 g/km.
In addition, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata hybrid comes loaded with state-of-the-art safety features including Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist among other active and passive systems. Hyundai aims to sell a total of 55,000 units (18,000 in Korea & 37,000 overseas) of the new model and will be expanding its eco-friendly lineup across different segments under the ‘Blue Drive’ sub brand. As part of the new initiative, the company plans to add a plug-in hybrid version to the Sonata lineup next year, also Hyundai’s first plug-in hybrid.
The all-new Sonata Hybrid will be making its international debut at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show next month and details of the upcoming plug-in hybrid will also be revealed then. Chances are very slim of the Sonata Hybrid making it to India since the company does not make right-hand drive models as of now, but could consider the same in the long term. If launched, the Sonata Hybrid makes for a perfect rival to the Toyota Camry Hybird and upcoming Honda Accord Hybrid in the Indian sub-continent.