Hyundai has launched its first plug-in hybrid vehicle at the North
American International Auto Show which was held in Detroit. The 2016 Hyundai
Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is estimated to travel up to 35
km solely on electric power. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid can also recharge in a
short span of two and a half hours. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be
manufactured at the Asan, South Korea plant and will go on sale in select
markets later this year.
The new Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will have a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer
battery pack which is almost five times larger than the present Sonata Hybrid’s
battery. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid has a six-speed automatic transmission with
Hyundai’s Transmission Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) and a 50 kW electric
motor to replace the torque converter. This 50 kW electric motor is 32pc more
powerful than the current motor being used in the regular Sonata Hybrid and
allows EV operations at higher speeds. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a 2.0
litre Nu four cylinder GDI engine which produces 154bhp and 189Nm of torque.
The total system output is 202bhp @ 6000rpm. The car is expected to deliver
13.4 km per litre in the city and 15.2 km per litre on highways. The battery of
the car can be recharged within two hours at a level 2 240V charging station or
in five hours at a standard 120V charging station.
The new Sonata PHEV has borrowed the functional design changes carried
on the Sonata Hybrid to improve its drag coefficient as well as provide visual
cues which distinguish the hybrid models from the other Sonatas. Some of the visual
changes to the PHEV’s exterior include a charging port on the driver side front
fender, a unique grille, front and rear bumpers, front fenders, front and rear
lights, chrome side sill moldings, Hybrid badges and new wheels. The new Sonata
PHEV has a distinctive instrument cluster which provides the driver with
additional information about the car’s functions. The charge indicator is located
on top of the dashboard to make it easy to see the state of charge from outside
the vehicle. The new Sonata PHEV will be offered in two exclusive exterior
paint options -- Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist. The interior color
choices are gray and beige in cloth or leather seating configurations and an
all new Blue Pearl option for leather seats.
Another added feature on the PHEV is the Blue Link app which allows
owners to manage and monitor the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
remotely using an exclusive Blue Link smartphone app. With this app, owners
will be able to access realtime data from their Sonata PHEV and also perform
specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. The most useful
feature of the app is managing the car’s charging schedule. Some of the connected
car services which are provided are – vehicle diagnostics, existing battery
level, realtime electric range, realtime fuel range, charge status, plug status
(in/out), time left until fully charged, refresh to retrieve status and VIN
(Vehicle Selection) base availability of PHEV app features.
The hybrid vehicle comes standard with seven airbags and has a new
driver’s knee airbag as well. Some other standard features are Electronic
Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a
Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a
rearview camera. Projector headlamps come as standard while HID headlamps are
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