Hyundai Debuts New Sonata Hybrid Sedans and Santa Cruz Crossover Concept Truck

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Hyundai took the stage Monday afternoon showing the 2016 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid sedans and surprised attendees at the Detroit Motor Show press days by rolling out the Santa Cruz Concept Truck aimed at Urban Adventurers. The Sonata models boast improved hybrid technology while Santa Cruz features its own eco-friendly powertrain in the form of a 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine.

Images by Author

Images by Author

On the outside, the new Sonata sedans feature updated styling like their gas-only counterparts received last year. The new Hybrid model benefits from pared down gasoline engine sizing mated to more powerful electic motor and clutch mounted inside the transmission housing where the torque converter would normally be found. The new Hybrid powerplant generates a net output of 193hp and is said to achieve 39 mpg city and 44 mpg on the highway.

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The new lithium-polymer battery pack is 13 percent more efficient and now fits underneath the trunk floor.
The new Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, a first for Hyundai, will see the Nu 2.0-liter gas engine mated to a 50kW electric motor allowing for higher EV speeds. A 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack will be used in this vehicle.

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Hyundai expects the Sonata PHEV to deliver 93 MPGe and the automaker boasts recharge times of 2.5 hours on a Level 2 (240V) charging system.

The bad news for consumers interested in the PHEV Sonata is it will only be available initially in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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Hyundai said they developed the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept for the “unspoken needs” of new Urban Adventurers, a growing Millenial lifestyle.

The truck is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo diesel generating 190hp and 300 lb. ft. of torque while delivering fuel economy in the high 30 mpg range. The truck will feature Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system and includes unique interior and tailgate flexibility to meet active lifestyle demands.

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.