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New Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Unveiled in Korea Ahead of Detroit

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/16/2014 Karla Sanchez
New Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Unveiled in Korea Ahead of Detroit

About a year after the updated 2015 Hyundai Sonata made its debut at the 2014 Detroit show, the automaker unveiled the more fuel-efficient variant on its own turf in Korea. The new Korean-spec Sonata hybrid made its big premiere at an event this morning, boasting a sportier new look and upgraded hardware.

While the Sonata hybrid looks much like its non-hybrid counterpart, it’s been decorated with unique elements that help set it apart. Up front, the hybrid sports a larger and sharper hexagonal grille with a unique "inner-grille" design and slim LED lights housed within the headlights. Chrome trim underlines the doors while new LED taillights define the rear end along with a new low-drag rear diffuser. Like the regular Sonata, the hybrid also gets an updated cabin with more soft-touch materials and newly available advanced safety features like land departure and forward collision warning systems. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Korean Spec© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Korean Spec

Underneath the hood is a 154-hp 2.0-liter engine mated to a 51-hp electric motor that’s 8.6 percent more powerful than the one used in the previous model. Replacing the outgoing car's old six-speed automatic is a new and more efficient six-speed gearbox, so we can expect the current Sonata hybrid's EPA rating of 36/40 mpg city/highway numbers to improve. Other revisions to the powertrain include a new engine clutch that helps reduce drag and create smoother shifts. Hyundai also reports the battery pack has 13.3-percent more capacity and has been moved underneath the trunk to allow for more cargo room. Thanks to the flat trunk floor, the trunk is 10.5 percent larger than it was before. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Korean Spec© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Korean Spec

The Sonata hybrid was reportedly in development for 27 months and will first launch in Korea before it goes on sale in other major markets in the first half of next year. Hyundai hopes to sell a total of 55,000 units over the next year, but the hybrid won't be the only eco-friendly Sonata lineup for too long. The automaker is also planning a plug-in hybrid version which will reportedly launch sometime next year. Hyundai reports that it'll spill some details about the new variant at the Detroit show next month, which is also when we'll also get an up-close look at the new 2015 Sonata Hybrid.

Source: Hyundai

2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Korean Spec© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Korean Spec
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