2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Brings Solar Roof, 30 Percent Quicker Shift Times

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.

Also read: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Turned Fully Autonomous By Russia’s Yandex

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.

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  • Aqua Boogie

    Honda and Toyota must have something on their mind now.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      We hope. they’ve ignored Hyundai this long and now it is a credible threat.

  • Six_Tymes

    If you squint just a bit, it looks like a Honda, specifically a Civic+Accord. but ill up vote it anyway. I just wish Hyundai engines would last longer.

    • Liam Paul

      like the one in that elantra that has million miles? Not that my old sonata had a million miles but it had 179k miles when I traded it in on march of 2012 for a truck and it was still going strong.


      They do last longer. I don’t know what Hyundai engine you’re talking about unless you’re mentioning about the excel

    • bd0007

      They do, it’s just the 2.0L that has issues, just like the 1.4L for Honda.

      One could very well state that wish “Honda transmissions lasted longer.”

      Does that apply to every Honda transmission? No.

  • Andrewthecarguy

    This, is why BMW (and the other Germans) are losing it.
    Both Mercedes and AUDI have incorporated or at least shown in concept models solar panel tech.
    For Hyundai to actually make it a reality in an everyday car show they are serious about owning a much larger share of the market.

    How is it that an S Class or 7 Series that are supposed to be tech tour-de-force don’t have this?
    Anyhoo, the gamble as to whether electric and hybrids are the future is sure shaping out to be in favor of those who invest now.

    • mist

      Many S Class and 7 Series have panoramic sunroofs.
      People who buy these cars don’t card about a little more fuel economy.

      • Andrewthecarguy

        It’s not about fuel economy. It’s about technology. I remember the Kia Optima had a pano roof option before any BMW sedan did. And for a few years too. My point is that the Germans have been slacking for quite a while now.

  • WalthamDan

    That catfish front end design just ruins the whole vehicle. Hyundai design just has not recuperated from the recent mistakes.

    • charlotteharry57

      I agree. It’s amazing around here how many ’11-’17 Sonatas you see, but hardly any ’18s and ’19s because of that obnoxious grille.

      • david santiago

        the newest gen hasnt gone on sale yet bud

    • bd0007

      Not a fan of the “cascading effect” (lower side curvatures), but that’s what Hyundai went for to distinguish itself from all the other automakers who are using the hexagonal-shaped grille.

      Presently, the Santa Fe does it best.

  • mailbox5

    So Hyundai claims you’ll get an additional 808 miles with the solar panels. That means over a yr of driving 10,000 miles, you’ll get an additional fuel cost decrease of 8.1% (808/10,000 = 0.081). So this car has an extremely low gasoline expense per yr …. the only question is: Is it enjoyable to drive?

    • bd0007

      Something like this is not yet worth the added cost (need solar panel tech to be a bit more efficient at capturing energy), but when it gets to that point, would be best suited to be paired w/ a 48V “active” hybrid system.

  • sidewaysspin

    Those lame wheels destroy it.

  • SteersUright

    Rather fine looking overall, not great though. The wheels and pitiful horsepower figures make this of no interest to me, hybrid or no. My mom might like it though…actually nah, she’d want it to be some sort of CUV and higher off the ground.

  • Danny3xd

    I am in the minority here but really like the way it looks. But I drive the world’s ugliest car. Prius. But with comparable stats and wayyyyy better looks. I’d consider one.

    Kinda wish there were some inside the car pictures in the article.

    I have always wondered why all cars didn’t have at least a floating charge solar panel. Even in an ICE. It just seems dumb to pay for energy when your car could take advantage of sitting in a parking lot while your at work or home.

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