2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

With gasoline prices continually on the rise, especially in Southern California, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid increases fuel efficiency and operates in an all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, with an advanced version of Hyundai’s Hybrid Blue Drive architecture. The improved architecture optimizes electric-only driving with a higher output 35 kW electric motor, a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery pack and an optimized hybrid operating strategy.

These upgrades are paired with a 2.4-liter Theta II four-cylinder engine that now runs on a more efficient Atkinson cycle and an enhanced transmission to generate 199 combined net horsepower. The new Sonata Hybrid Blue Drive system offers greater fuel efficiency by increasing the overall amount of available electrical drive power, allowing drivers to go further between fill ups.

As in previous Sonata Hybrids, the 2013 Sonata Hybrid features a clutch to decouple the gasoline engine from the drivetrain. When in pure electric drive, the Sonata Hybrid can drive electrically up to 75 miles per hour.

As the upgraded battery stores more energy, engineers also increased the output on the electric traction motor from 30 kW to 35 kW. The increased energy pulled into the system is used for higher torque output in electric drive mode before the system has to start the internal combustion engine.  These changes deliver both improved fuel economy and drivability. The higher output electric motor is also essential to improving energy capture during regenerative braking.

The body of the 2013 Sonata Hybrid features the unique exterior that sets it apart from other Sonatas. The combination of a re-shaped front and rear fascias with a deeper air dam, extended rocker panels and lower drag wheels allow air to flow around the body with less resistance.

The ability to easily slice through the air, combined with low rolling resistance tires and the reduced friction in the newly optimized Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain significantly reduces the amount of energy required to maintain highway speeds. The result is the remarkable highway fuel efficiency of the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

The Sonata Hybrid, with Hyundai’s improved Hybrid Blue Drive technology, has always featured a lithium-polymer battery pack, making Hyundai one of the first automakers in the world to incorporate this remarkably efficient battery technology into production vehicles. Lithium-polymer is the next generation of lithium-ion technology and is ideally suited to automotive applications thanks to a particularly robust and reliable chemistry.

The lithium-polymer cells, developed with Hyundai’s partner LG Chem, use a manganese-spinel chemistry that provides an excellent compromise between power delivery, energy density and thermal stability.  Thermal stability is critical to ensuring durability, effectively eliminating the need to replace the battery pack during the normal lifespan of the vehicle.

The electrodes in older lithium-ion batteries expand and contract significantly with the heating and cooling that naturally occurs during charging and discharging. This thermal expansion causes cracks in the electrodes which ultimately reduces the cell’s ability to hold a charge. Manganese-spinel lithium-polymer cells have much lower expansion rates and are thus able to go through tens-of-thousands of charge cycles even without having to use a heavier, liquid-cooling system.

For the environmentally conscious driver who also likes to save money on gasoline, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the ideal match for Palm Springs.

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