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2012 Hyundai Accent first to receive 1.6L GDI Gamma engine; 18% improvement in highway fuel economy to 40 mpg

Accent five-door. Click to enlarge.

Hyundai Motor America introduced the all-new 2012 Accent at the New York International Auto Show; this marks the US debut of the latest version of the popular subcompact sedan and the new Accent five-door. The 2012 Accent is slated to hit dealerships this summer.

The 2012 Accent is the first vehicle to receive the all-new 1.6-liter GDI Gamma engine (earlier post), paired with proprietary six-speed automatic or manual transmissions. The new Gamma 1.6L is the smallest Hyundai engine yet to benefit from the application of Gasoline Direct Injection technology.

MPG Contributions
Gamma 1.6L GDI 6.1%
MDPS 4.1%
Smart alternator 2.7%
LRR silica tires 2.1%
Cd of 0.30 (kg) 2.1%
6MT vs. 5MT 1.0%
Total fuel savings 18.1%

The all-aluminum 1.6-liter Gamma four-cylinder engine delivers 138 hp (103 kW)—a 13% improvement over a conventional Gamma 1.6L fed by multipoint fuel injection (MPI)— and 123 lb-ft (167 N·m) of torque with a 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating. The 2012 Accent’s highway fuel economy of 40 mpg is an 18% improvement over its predecessor’s 34 mpg highway manual transmission fuel economy rating.

The engine’s most notable feature is its use of GDI, a first for the subcompact category. By precisely controlling the injection of fuel, GDI allows for better fuel economy, increased power and reduced emissions. The application of Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) on both intake and exhaust camshafts allows for increased efficiency, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.

D-CVVT (intake and exhaust camshaft phaser) camshafts and hydraulic engine mounts provide optimum power, efficiency and refinement. Using CVVT on both camshafts has several advantages when compared to using it only on the intake camshaft including an improvement in performance (increased volumetric efficiency) and fuel economy (reduced pumping loss), and a reduction in hydrocarbon emissions.

Other elements resulting in reduced fuel consumption include an Alternator Management System, an offset crankshaft design, variable induction system and electronic throttle control. To reduce lifetime operation costs and increase reliability, the Gamma features a maintenance-free silent roller timing chain. The Gamma also uses anti-friction coatings such as CrN Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating and Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating.

Several other systems have been improved over the outgoing model, each contributing to increased fuel efficiency. The 2012 Accent can be equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic transaxle with SHIFTRONIC manual control, delivering smooth and efficient power delivery. Low-rolling resistance silica tires and a slippery shape (0.30 Cd) reduce friction with the road and the air. This aerodynamic shape also includes a kicked up trunk edge, wheel arches which shield the tires and an optimized engine undercover. Finally, the ActiveECO function modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response. By turning on the ActiveECO function, drivers can realize up to a seven percent increase in real-world fuel economy.



This time around, Hyundai used six different ways to reduce fuel consumption by 18+ %.

There are at least 2 dozens others ways to further improve over all efficiency. Less drag, less weight, less internal engine friction, waste heat recovery, stop-start, braking energy recovery, much more efficient e-ancillaries, lower consumption lights, very high efficiency heat pump, cooled/heated seats to reduce energy consumption for cab heating and cooling etc etc could be used.


My 12-year old Passat has a drag coeffecient of 0.28, so the aerodynamics is nothing to get excited about.


The article appears to be straight marketing from Hyundai. However, they must be given credit for continuing to pour more technology into the subcompact segment, where there is very little profit.


Agree with you danm but more could be done.

Nick Lyons

Very impressive for a low-margin, entry-level car. I will be interested to see what Honda does with the Fit to compete.

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