2008 L.A. Auto Show: Hyundai Hybrid Concept


  • Looks like: The Hyundai Sonata sedan's innards
  • Defining characteristics: A new hybrid powertrain and battery
  • Ridiculous features: None
  • Chance of being mass-produced: 100%

We’re not sure why Hyundai is calling this a concept, because it’s already said a Sonata Hybrid will hit dealerships in the U.S. in 2010. That’s big news not only because this will be Hyundai’s first hybrid in the U.S., but because it will use a lithium-polymer battery that’s unlike any nickel-metal-hydride-powered hybrid currently on the market, or any lithium-ion-powered hybrids planned for the near future.

Hyundai says the lithium-polymer battery is more efficient and lighter than other battery technologies, and that’s two things you might like in a fuel-efficient car. Plus, it’s less expensive to make than lithium-ion batteries. The battery is part of a system featuring a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, regenerative braking, a six-speed automatic transmission and a 30kW electric motor.

Hyundai hasn’t said what kind of fuel economy to expect from this system, but we assume it will be on par with the Toyota Camry Hybrid, if not better.



if this battery technology is better/lighter/cheaper/more energy dense than what everyone else is using, why haven't people switched? what's the catch?

i think they're first to try it out. Everyone else went with existing/tested technology, Lithium-ion and didn't want to invest in something that didn't have a track record. I would think if it really works it could be the next gen battery we see everywhere.


i'm surprised, as the koreans aren't known for going out on their own. they usually follow the technological lead of others. i hope this turns out to be good.


Hyundai really is a company that is stepping out of the shadow of Japanese automakers, its pretty exciting to see how they will mature as a company.

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