Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Revealed: Gets new Active Shift Control and solar panel roof

The Hyundai Sonata which recently made its official debut is now available as a hybrid. But its party piece is the solar panels on its roof that won't let the batteries discharge easily.

By:Updated: July 22, 2019 10:41:58 AM

Hyundai Motor has introduced the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid with its latest Active Shift Control gearbox which is specially designed for hybrid vehicles. The Sonata hybrid is based on the eighth generation DN8 model which was showcased in March 2019. As standard, the Sonata is offered with a 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol engines with six or eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Now, Hyundai has revealed the hybrid version which comes with a Smartstream 2.0-litre GDi HEV engine which is mated to the new 6-speed hybrid transmission which the manufacturer introduced recently. The engine alone produced 152hp and 188Nm of torque. The electric motor develops 38kW(50hp) and maximum torque of 205Nm. Hyundai claims that the combined power output from the engine is rated at 192hp and is capable of delivering 20kmpl of fuel economy.

The Sonata is able to deliver such economy thanks to it being the first application of Hyundai ASC technology. The system applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) which then controls the electric motor to align the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, thus, reducing gear shift time by a claimed 30%. This synchronisation of the engine, transmission and electric motor not only is said to improve hybrid vehicle’s acceleration performance and fuel economy but also durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during a gear shift.

Additionally, what sets the Sonata part from its rivals like the Toyota Camry Hybrid or Honda Accord Hybrid is that the roof of the Sonata Hybrid is equipped with solar panels which help in disallowing the batteries of the hybrid system to discharge while allowing for an increased travel distance. Hyundai claims that the solar roof system can increase travel distance by an extra 1,300kms annually with a daily charge of 6 hours.

While the styling of the Sonata Hybrid may seem similar to the standard car, but there are subtle changes like the cross-hole cascading grille, rear spoiler lip and alloy wheel design which has not only been designed to make the Sonata Hybrid looks a bit cooler, but also improve aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle. The Sonata Hybrid will come with the digital key with Near Field Communication (NFC), along with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Lane Follow Assist.


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