One of the cars taking a bow at this week’s Chicago Auto Show is 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which reaches the show stand with 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim.
This is the first time the Sonata Hybrid has been shown in North America. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control technology and a Solar Roof System (SRS), which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale in the U.S. this spring and is built in Asan. South Korea.
The ASC controls electric motor, aligning it with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, reducing gear-shifting times by 30%. The synchronization not only improves the Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration and fuel economy but also improves the durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during shifts.
The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a 2.0-liter HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The engine’s power output is 150 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. The car’s electric motor delivers power output of 39 kW (51 HP) and maximum torque of 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined system power output is 192 horsepower and EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 50 city, 54 highway and 52 combined for the Blue trim.
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s also is equipped with a solar-panel roof that directly charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries and outputs 205 watts of electricity. This segment-first increases range by about 2 miles per day and helps prevent battery discharge from infotainment or HVAC systems when the car is turned off.
Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.
Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle and can also revoke keys remotely.
The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, hands-free smart trunk, high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.
The audio and navigation display in the Sonata Hybrid is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription
The 2020 Sonata Hybrid also is equipped with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection, an advanced active safety feature that helps alert drivers to certain emergency situations, and may brake autonomously, if necessary. Using front radar and front camera sensors, FCA operates in three stages. Initially warning the driver visually and acoustically, it helps assess the nature of potential collision danger and may apply increasing amounts of braking force to avoid a collision or minimize damage when a collision is unavoidable.
Lane Following Assist can automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel. LFA can help keep the vehicle centered on both highways and city streets.
The Blind-Spot View Monitor with the Sonata’s outside mirror-mounted cameras offers the driver an enhanced field of vision.
The new Sonata uses four cameras to provide the driver with an enhanced, bird’s-eye view of the car’s exterior, giving the driver confidence when maneuvering into or out of spaces. Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist helps detect pedestrians and obstacles with a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors.
The connected car team at Hyundai continues to improve Blue Link’s services, and the 2020 Sonata Hybrid received many system enhancements. As with most Hyundai models, Blue Link includes Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Destination Search by Voice. It also can stores select vehicle settings to the Blue Link cloud and enables the user to update them remotely and push them back to the vehicle.