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Posts Tagged ‘hyundai sonata hybrid’

First Look: Kia Optima Hybrid

Korea’s smaller maker enters the battery world.

by on Nov.18, 2010

Kia's first hybrid goes with higher-power, lighter-weight lithium batteries.

Kia is making its belated entry into electric propulsion with the launch of its first gas-electric model, the 2011 Optima Hybrid, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new model, similar in underlying technology to the new Sonata hybrid sold by Korean sibling Hyundai, is expected to push the fuel efficiency of the midsize sedan to more than 40 mpg.

Tom Loveless, Kia vice president of sales, said while the hybrid market is small, “it’s a growing segment. The interest in alternative powertrains is continuing to grow,” he said.

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Kia’s first-ever hybrid in the U.S. will attract those looking for a striking and well-equipped sedan that does not sacrifice style, comfort, performance or value for fuel efficiency, Loveless said.


First Look: Hyundai BlueOn Battery-Electric Vehicle

First battery car for Hyundai and for Korea.

by on Sep.09, 2010

South Korean President Lee-Myun Bak drives the first Hyundai BlueOn electric vehicle.

Hyundai has launched what is not only the Korean carmaker’s first battery-electric vehicle but the first BEV produced in that country.  The maker says a limited run of the BlueOn will be put through a two-year field test, with Hyundai planning to steadily increase production capacity by the end of 2012.

The company says it has invested $34 million over the last year to bring to market the Hyundai BlueOn, which first appeared in concept form at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Both the show car and production vehicle are based on the small Hyundai i10 hatchback.

(Even Ferrari goes electric. Click Here for more on the Italian maker’s hybrid Enzo replacement.)

“Consumers’ interests and demand for eco-friendly cars are rising and securing such advanced technology is critical in becoming an industry leader,” said Hyun-Soon Lee, Vice Chairman of Hyundai’s corporate R&D center.

Rated at a top speed of about 82 mph (130 km/h), the BlueOn is able to travel almost 90 miles (140 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion polymer batteries, the maker today announced.  Among other features, the BEV will be equipped with an advanced telematics system capable of not only showing the current state of charge but also the location of the nearest charging station.

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The maker says it is working with the metropolitan Seoul government and other government agencies to set up a network of recharging stations.  Using 220-volt household power, BlueOn’s 16.4-kilowatt/hour LiPoly battery pack will be able to recharge in about six hours.  Special, high-speed 380V chargers will be used to provide an 80% quick charge in just 25 minutes, according to Hyundai.


First Look: Kia Electric Pop

Battery car to make Paris debut next month.

by on Aug.18, 2010

Kia isn't saying much about its battery-powered Electric Pop concept, which makes a Paris Motor Show debut, next month.

It’s that time of year.  The biennial Paris Motor Show is little more than six weeks away and automakers are beginning to give us some hints of what they’ll be pulling the wraps off at the Mondial de l’Automobile.

The list starts with Kia, which has provided us these teaser shots of something it has dubbed the Electric Pop, which will make its formal debut on September 30th.


Other than that, the maker isn’t saying much.  Its terse release advises us that, “Kia’s three-metre three-seater boasts zero-emissions and brings innovative design chic to the city car segment with its dramatic styling.”   End of story.  At least the official one.


First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T

V6 performance, I4 economy?

by on Jul.13, 2010

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T will launch from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds.

Hyundai has had a way of defying expectations.  In its early years in the U.S. market it undercut the Japanese on price.  And then, when it seemed that price alone wasn’t enough, it took steps to correct its quality problems, backing that up with the industry’s best warranty.  Known for its cheap-and-cheerful small cars, the Korean carmaker swatted a home run with its first-ever luxury model, the Genesis sedan, winning the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy, in the process.

Hyundai served up another ace – to mix our sports metaphors – when it launched the sixth-generation Sonata sedan for 2010.  Roomy, affordable and arguably the best-looking model in the midsize segment, it delivered another surprise by offering buyers only a peppy, fuel-efficient inline-four engine.  No V6s now or later, Hyundai officials declared.

But they did hint that a couple other powertrain offerings were on the horizon, and got to check both of them out during a trip to South Korea and a visit to the maker’s Namyang Proving Grounds.  We’ll have a review of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – the maker’s first gas-electric offering – next week.  But let’s start with a look at the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T.

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The Sonata turbo delivers a one-word answer to the nagging question: does a maker need to offer a V6 for a midsize sedan.  “No.”  Make that “N-O. “  With 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0T blows off just about anything you can think of in its class, whether turbocharged or naturally aspirated.  And yet, with a forecasted 22 mpg City, 34 Highway, it’s right up there with the best-in-class for mileage, as well.


Spy Shot: 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai finally readying a gas-elecric

by on Jul.31, 2009

Late to the party, the Korean carmaker intends to finally get into the gasoline-electric market with the launch of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, captured here by our spy photographers.

Late to the party, the Korean carmaker intends to finally get into the gasoline-electric market with the launch of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, captured here by our spy photographers.

The Sonata, codenamed “YF,” was penned at Hyundai’s design studio in Irvine, CA. We were told there was heated debate in the boardroom over the styling direction of the new Sonata. The final design sports a much sleeker, coupe-like roofline.

We’re hearing that the hybrid model of the Sonata, shown here, will use lithium polymer batteries instead of the often discussed lithium-ion. The polymer batteries are said to be more durable and cheaper to make. Besides obvious clues (our quick sneak-peek under the hood and small exhaust pipe) – this test group consisted of Hyundai’s well-known hybrid battery specialists, and the Sonatas were tested alongside a variety of competitive hybrids.

Your spy shot source!

Your spy shot source!

While the regular Sonata should start production for the U.S in the summer of 2010, the hybrid model should follow sometime in 2011 – likely as a 2012 model.

More pictures can be found at

Brenda Priddy & Company