Ultra-Low Drag 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Arrives in Detroit

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The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which just debuted at the Detroit show is not an exciting car, but it can do a claimed 44 mpg US on the highway (5.3 l/100km / 52.8 mpg UK) – that’s 10% better than its predecessor. It doesn’t look bad either, sporting the sleek look of the all-new Sonata sedan with subtle hybrid tweaks.

The changes brought to its body aren’t meant to just set it apart visually and actually improve the drag coefficient – it’s 0.24, the same as a Tesla Model S. The improvement is achieved through the use of a larger grille, revised front and rear bumpers and side sill moldings. Even the unique wheels appear as if they aid the aerodynamics in some way…

The powertrain is comprised of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s coupled to a six-speed automatic that also houses the electric motor for the hybrid system. Together, the two power plants make 193 hp and are claimed to offer 42 mpg US combined, or 5.6 l/100km / 50.4 mpg UK.

The system allows for electric only driving at up to 75 mph or 120 km/h, although the range can’t be very impressive, as the battery pack is only 1.62 kWh. That does mark a 13 percent improvement over the previous model in terms of electricity storage capacity, though.

The Sonata Hybrid comes with what Hyundai calls “convenient technology.” You get hands-free Smart Trunk access as an option, electronic parking brake, hill hold, memory driver’s seat, rear window sunshades, heated steering wheel, LED interior lights, cooled and powered front seats, as well as smart cruise control.

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