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New 7th-generation Hyundai Sonata updates design, tweaks powertrain

16 April 2014

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2015 Sonata 2.0T Click to enlarge.

Hyundai introduced its seventh-generation 2015 Sonata mid-size sedan at the New York International Auto Show. The new generation offers a more refined look through a new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, stiffer body structure, better ride quality, reduced noise, vibration and harshness and advanced safety and convenience features.

Hyundai continues its all four-cylinder Theta engine lineup for the 2015 Sonata. (Information on the 2015 Sonata Hybrid will come later this year.) A revised 2.4-liter Theta II GDI four-cylinder engine powers SE, Limited and Sport models. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower (138 kW) and 178 lb-ft (241 N·m) of torque.

Hyundai’s powertrain engineers slightly reduced peak power for the 2015 Sonata to shift the powerband downward for better responsiveness in lower-RPM situations where customers spend the majority of their time. The new Electronic Intake Continuously Variable Valve Timing (E-CVVT) improves performance in low temperatures and reduces emissions.

Theta II GDI
Hyundai introduced the Theta II GDI, its first Gasoline Direct Injection engine, in 2009. (Earlier post.) Theta II featured numerous design enhancements over its predecessor, beginning with a three-stage variable induction system (VIS) which automatically adjusted the volume of the air sucked into the combustion chamber to create an air-to-fuel mix optimized for varying engine load conditions.
Further performance gains were made possible by incorporating Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) which improves engine breathing on the intake and exhaust sides for better fuel economy and lower emissions.
Friction reduction measures include a revision of the piston pin from a fixed-type to a full-floating design which cuts down on friction between the piston and cylinder wall. And under the piston crown, engineers have added a cooling jet which sprays oil over the piston walls reducing friction and contributing to an improvement in fuel economy.

A revised 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI, also featuring E-CVVT, powers Sport 2.0T models. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is also optimized for lower-RPM drivability and it produces 245 horsepower (183 kW) and 260 lb-ft (353 N·m) of torque.

The turbocharger features a smaller turbine and compressor wheel, which provide better responsiveness and more torque in the low and mid RPM range. Both Theta engines are paired with a six-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission.

Advanced high-strength steel platform. The 2015 Sonata uses advanced high-strength steel for more than 50% of total platform composition, which results in 41% stiffer torsional rigidity and 35% greater bending strength. Advanced high strength steel is twice as rigid as traditional steel while weighing 10% less. More hot-stamped components are used, especially in the B-pillar area.

A revised multilink rear suspension design enhances responsiveness, handling and stability while reducing impact harshness. Dual lower suspension arms replace the old single-arm design and distribute lateral forces more effectively to improve ride quality without sacrificing handling. The new rear suspension geometry helps keep Sonata more stable under hard braking and helps provide shorter stopping distances.

Reinforced side and cross members strengthen sub-frame mounting points and improve suspension responsiveness. Revised front sub-frame bushings are 17% stiffer than before and contribute to better steering feel and improved responsiveness.

The 2015 Sonata Sport 2.0T utilizes a new rack-mounted dual-pinion electric power steering system that offers more natural steering feel. Sport 2.0T models receive a unique sport-tuned suspension and larger 12.6-inch front brakes.

Active safety technologies. Active safety technologies for the 2015 Sonata include Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Lane Departure Warning System.

Sonata’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Departure Warning System uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning light on the dashboard illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver.

Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another feature derived from the 2015 Sonata’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the 2015 Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert.

Next-gen Blue Link. 2015 Sonata will be the second Hyundai vehicle to offer the next-generation Blue Link system. The debut of the all-new Sonata coincides with the launch of a new Hyundai Assurance Car Care in-vehicle app.

Features include:

  • Destination Search powered by Google. Users will be able to take advantage of Google’s destination search via the Blue Link button (voice recognition) and navigation display, or through myhyundai.com and the Blue Link mobile app sending a destination to their 2015 Sonata.

  • Remote Start now includes a timer (from 1 to 10 min.), remote stop, remote climate control and remote defroster available via the mobile app.

  • Hyundai Assurance Car Care in-vehicle app gives owners another convenient option for scheduling service.

The new 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be built at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, Ala. and goes on sale early this summer.

April 16, 2014 in Engines, Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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