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2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in-hybrid Unveiled at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Snapshot: The 2016 Hyundai Sonata is expected to travel up to 35 kilometers on electric power and can recharge in as little as two and a half hours.

Hyundai has showcased the Sonata plug-in-hybrid at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show. It happens to be the company's first plug-in-hybrid vehicle and features exclusive Blue Link Smartphone App Controls charging. The 2016 Hyundai Sonata is expected to travel up to 35 kilometers on electric power and can recharge in as little as two and a half hours with a Level 2 charger. It is being built at the Asan, South Korea plant and will go on sale in select markets later this year.

Although the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is very technologically advanced, it will behave much like the regular Sonata Hybrid from the driver’s seat. A 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery pack, roughly five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, is expected to give Sonata Plug-in Hybrid an all-electric range of up to 35 kilometers, farther than any other midsize PHEV sedan. Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED), a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50 kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used the in regular Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher speeds.

Under the hood, it has a 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge is depleted. Sonata PHEV’s Nu engine produces 154 bhp and 190Nm of torque and the total system output is 202 bhp at 6,000 rpm. Sonata PHEV is expected to deliver 93 MPGe combined in EV mode based on internal estimates. In charge sustaining mode, the Sonata PHEV is expected to return 38 mpg in the city, 43 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg combined based on internal testing. Recharge time ranges from two and a half hours at a 240V Level 2 charging station to five hours using a standard 120V outlet.

Owners can manage and monitor the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle remotely via an exclusive Blue Link smartphone app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Sonata PHEV and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Sonata PHEV. The most useful feature of the app is managing the car’s charging schedule. The owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Sonata PHEV is plugged in. Individuals that have different electric rates at various times may want to schedule the charge. Users can do that with the new app based on time and date. For example, charging could be set to start at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on a weekly basis.

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