Hyundai reveals hybrid and turbo versions of new i45
At the New York Auto Show in North America, Hyundai Motor Company has announced that its all-new i45 sedan – known as Sonata in North America - will be the first vehicle in that market to offer customers a choice of petrol direct injection (GDI), full-hybrid and twin-scroll turbocharged powertrains.
Part of Hyundai’s global eco-friendly strategy ‘Blue Drive’, the new sedan’s full parallel hybrid drive system can operate via electric motor, through its advanced petrol engine or a combination of the two depending on driving conditions and driver demands. Hyundai’s proprietary full parallel architecture differs from the power split technology used by most competitors, allowing significant efficiency advantages. Breakthrough lithium polymer batteries leapfrog existing nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion applications to offer the benefits of lithium-ion, a technology used in laptops and cell phones, with the added robustness required in automotive applications.
By using the company’s own highly efficient, compact new six-speed transmission, modified with hybrid starter-generator, electric motor, and low-friction oil pump, the traditional torque converter has been eliminated. Hyundai’s intent to offer class-leading efficiency has resulted in a projected best-in class highway fuel economy of 6.03 L/100km (39mpg), almost matched by its projected city fuel economy of 6.36 L/100km (37mpg).
The weight-saving architecture of the new platform, combined with the lightweight lithium polymer battery pack, make this hybrid the lightest vehicle in its segment at just 1,556kgs; and this combined with best-in-class power rating gives a significant advantage in power-to-weight ratio, critical in achieving both performance and efficiency.
Hyundai’s proprietary parallel drive system is the heart of the drive system, in place of competitors’ planetary-geared Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) systems. By utilising a full parallel drive system, Hyundai uses power from the electric motor more efficiently, allowing it to drive the vehicle at much higher speeds than competitors in EV-only mode. This technology is also a key enabler of the car’s best-in-class highway fuel economy.
Hybrid Blue Drive key components
In addition to the hybrid launch, Hyundai Motor America also premiered an i45 featuring a new 2.0-litre Theta II turbocharged petrol direct injection (GDI) at the show. It is the first Hyundai vehicle to have both GDI technology and a turbocharger.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine produces 204kW at 6000 rpm and 365Nm of torque from 1800-4500 rpm, and is expected to deliver an estimated 6.92 L/100km (34mpg) highway economy rating. Hyundai’s turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger which, combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery. This Hyundai features the new 6-speed automatic transmission with electronic sequential manual mode.
“In May the i45 will arrive in Australia, one of three new Hyundai models being launched here in 2010.” said Oliver Mann, Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Marketing Director. “Already breaking records in South Korea and receiving awards in the U.S., i45 is certain to make a big impact in the competitive mid-sized segment.”