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Hyundai introduces 2015 Sonata Eco with 1.6L Gamma turbo; 32 mpg combined

2015 Sonata Eco. Click to enlarge.

Hyundai announced the third powertrain available in the 2015 Sonata: the Sonata Eco. The 2015 Sonata Eco is powered by a variant of the 1.6-liter turbocharged Gamma four-cylinder engine (earlier post)—already available in the Veloster—producing an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 195 lb-ft (264 N·m) of torque. Sonata Eco is the first Hyundai product to utilize a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which no other mid-size sedan offers.

The powertrain helps Sonata Eco deliver an estimated 28 mpg city (8.4 l/100 km) and 38 mpg (6.2 l/100 km) highway. The estimated 32 mpg (7.4 l/100 km) combined rating is segment-leading for a non-hybrid mid-size sedan and more than a 10% improvement over a 2015 Sonata SE powered by the 2.4-liter Theta II engine.

As a comparison, the baseline 2015 Sonata with 2.4-liter engine is EPA-rated at 29 mpg (8.1 l/100 km) combined, while the 2014 Sonata Hybrid (also using a 2.4-liter engine) is rated at 38 mpg (6.2 l/100 km) combined.

The Gamma 1.6-liter T-GDI, unveiled in 2011 and developed over a period of 52 months at a cost of 69.5 billion won (US$69.5 million), uses an exhaust manifold integrated turbocharger with twin scroll, air-guided intercooler, direct fuel injection system and dual CVVT, while a bed plate and a serpentine auxiliary belt were adopted to enhance engine reliability.

By cutting down on exhaust emissions, the engine meets California’s ULEV-2 (Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle) standard as well as Euro 5.

[Very nice animation of combustion and gas flows. – Ed.]

The 2015 Sonata Eco will start at $23,275, excluding $810 freight charge, and go into production at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant later this summer.


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