As promised, Hyundai has unveiled the hybrid version of the 2011 Sonata at the New York Auto Show.
"The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the new kid on the block, but it's not a follower," says John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "Its full parallel hybrid configuration and breakthough lithium polymer batteries offer a new take on traditional hybrid design, while its unique design sets it apart from the mid-size hybrid pack."
The 2011 Sonata hybrid, features unique styling to set it apart from the non-hybrid models and to improve its fuel economy numbers. It features an all-new front fascia, more aerodynamic bumpers and rocker panels, and new alloy wheels. The taillights are also new with a more sci-fi feel than the regular Sonata. The changes helped lower the drag coefficient from .0.28 to 0.25.
Now for what's underneath the hood. First Hyundai is not using a CVT like its competitors and instead uses a six-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor generates 40.2 horsepower and 151 lb-ft. of torque, which is less than the Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry hybrids. Hyundai claims that the Sonata hybrid can travel up to 62 mph in EV mode. The electric motor is mated to a 169-hp 2.4L engine, which leads to a combined 209-hp, which is more than the Camry and Fusion hybrids. The Sonata hybrid is also the first hybrid in the US to use a lithium polymer battery pack.
Hyundai predicts that the Sonata hybrid will get 37 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which tops the Camry at 33/34, but is a little short of the Fusion's 41 mpg highway number.
Hyundai hasn't announced the pricing for the Sonata hybrid.