Following the release of details regarding its new Active Shift Control (ASC) technology for hybrid vehicles, Hyundai has unveiled the first model to feature the innovation, the 2020 Sonata Hybrid.
Based on the latest generation Sonata, the hybrid model features distinguishing design features the most obvious of which are the cross hole cascading grille and the rear spoiler integrated harmoniously with the taillights. The aero-style alloy wheels are also unique to the Sonata Hybrid and are said to provide fine-tuned aerodynamics.
Another visible change compared to regular Sonata models is the solar roof system which makes its debut on the Sonata Hybrid. The system recharges the battery to increase travel distance while preventing unnecessary battery discharge. According to Hyundai, 6 hours of daily charging will give the Sonata Hybrid an additional driving range of 1,300 km (808 miles) each year.
Another technological highlight is the Active Shift Control technology which manages to cut gear shift time by 30 percent. It does that by applying new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which then controls the electric motor to align the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission.
The benefits cited by Hyundai include improved acceleration performance, fuel economy, and durability of the transmission as ASC minimizes friction during a gear shift.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is powered by the Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine mated to a six-speed hybrid transmission. The gasoline engine develops 152 PS (150 hp) and 188 Nm (139 lb-ft) of torque on its own, with the electric motor adding 38 kW (52 PS / 51 hp) and 205 Nm (151 lb-ft) of torque.
The combined system output is 195 PS (192 hp) and Hyundai claims the Sonata Hybrid offers a combined fuel economy of 20.1 km/l as per Korean market measurements when equipped with 16-inch wheels — equivalent to 47.2 mpg US or 4.97 liters/100 km. Fuel economy takes a slight hit to 19.1 km/L (44.9 mpg US / 5.2 l/100 km) when fitted with 17-inch alloys.
When it comes to driving assistance systems, the Sonata Hybrid offers an array of featutres including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian/cyclist detection and autonomous braking, as well as Lane Follow Assist which automatically adjusts steering to keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel.
Finally, the model also comes with the Digital Key function via a dedicated smartphone app which allows users to lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the alarm and even start the engine remotely.