2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Quick Takes
Hyundai Motor America pricing for the 2013 Sonata Hybrid, starting at $25,650 for the extraordinarily well-equipped Sonata Hybrid and $30,550 for the new range-topping Sonata Hybrid Limited. At $25,650 shoppers will discover the improved 2013 Sonata Hybrid achieves better fuel economy, has new eco-spoke alloy wheel designs and is priced $200 less than the outgoing 2012 Sonata Hybrid. Hyundai will continue to offer an industry-exclusive Hybrid Lifetime Battery Warranty on the 2013 Sonata Hybrid.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid increases fuel efficiency and operates in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, with an advanced version of the brand’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 efficiencies 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.
Increasing electric only driving
Maximizing electric-only driving results in higher fuel efficiency, which is the leading factor car buyers look for in a hybrid vehicle. Hyundai engineers aimed to increase the overall amount of available electrical drive power and improve the efficiency of the Hybrid Blue Drive operating system in the 2013 Sonata Hybrid.
Using a higher output 35 kW electric motor and the more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery pack, the Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain maximizes electric-only driving. The improved operating system takes advantage of newly developed driving pattern detection and engine on/off optimization logic. The availability of more battery energy allows for greater flexibility in running the gasoline engine at optimum efficiency, which saves fuel. Better kinetic energy recovery and increased charging efficiency powers the Sonata Hybrid in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, increasing fuel economy.
The 2013 Sonata Hybrid utilizes the all-electric mode at optimal moments such as highway driving, then saves the gasoline engine start-up for roads that require a heavier dose of power. All of this translates to money saved for the driver.
KEY IMPROVEMENTS FOR INCREASED FUEL EFFICIENCY LITHIUM POLYMER BATTERY PACK
The remarkable achievement with 2013 Sonata Hybrid’s 47 kW lithium polymer battery pack is that not only is it more powerful and more energy dense, but also weighs less and takes up less volume in the trunk. The weight of the pack has gone from 96 pounds to 91 pounds, while trunk volume has increased from 10.7 cu. ft. to 12.1 cu. ft. Once again, the improved efficiency of the battery pack is key to recovering more kinetic energy from braking and charging from the engine, when needed, to help propel the vehicle. The newly optimized system allows the battery to store more usable energy, allowing more all-electric driving, cutting both fuel consumption and emissions.
HIGHER OUTPUT ELECTRIC MOTOR
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. The 2013 Sonata Hybrid can now sustain all-electric mode longer than the previous system. These changes deliver both improved fuel economy and drivability. The higher output electric motor is also essential to improving energy capture during regenerative braking.
HYBRID STARTER GENERATOR
The HSG is primarily used to improve clutch engagement when synchronizing engine to transmission speed. The primary traction motor is coupled to the transmission and cannot be used to charge the hybrid battery when the car is stationary. If the battery state of charge is low and the car is stationary, the HSG will automatically restart the engine, which then charges the Lithium Polymer battery pack.
When the driver releases the brake and presses the accelerator, the Sonata Hybrid will pull away smoothly in electric drive mode with the clutch still disengaged. In this mode, the Sonata will briefly behave like a series hybrid. Once the car is in motion and torque demand increases, the clutch will engage and send engine tractive effort through the transmission again.
In addition to improving efficiency, Hyundai engineers set their sights on improving drivability with the following:
- Improved hybrid system clutch control
- Improved vehicle response by throttle tuning
- Optimized regenerative braking shift pattern
- Decreased friction in the compact six-speed automatic transmission
The body of the 2013 Sonata Hybrid remains unchanged, but it still 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 drag coefficient for the Sonata Hybrid is an exceptionally low 0.24 that compares favorably to the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (0.34) and the Nissan GT-R (0.27).
The ability to easily slip 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 Sonata Hybrid.
The improved 2013 Sonata Hybrid will offer two different model grades to choose from, Sonata Hybrid and Sonata Hybrid Limited.
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy:
- Sonata Hybrid: 36 City 40 Highway 38 Combined
- Sonata Hybrid Limited: 36 City 40 Highway 37 Combined
HYBRID LIFETIME BATTERY WARRANTY
The 2013 Sonata Hybrid comes with Hyundai’s Hybrid Lifetime Battery Warranty. The coverage expands the benefits of Hyundai Assurance, the industry’s most comprehensive warranty program, including an unsurpassed 10-year powertrain warranty.
The Hyundai Lifetime Hybrid Battery Warranty ensures that if the Sonata Hybrid lithium-polymer battery ever needs replacement, Hyundai will replace the battery and cover recycling costs for the old battery pack free-of-charge to the original owner. The coverage is not transferrable, and does not apply to lease and commercial vehicles or vehicles serviced outside the U.S.
LITHIUM-POLYMER BATTERY TECHNOLOGY
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 chemistries 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.
Sonata Hybrid Packaging
The Sonata Hybrid MSRP is $25,650, excluding $795 freight and includes the following standard equipment:
- 2.4L Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder hybrid engine
- Hybrid Starter-Generator (HSG)
- Permanent magnet high-power density motor
- 270V lithium polymer battery
- 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
- Electronic stability control with traction control system
- ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
- Active front head restraints
- Front, front seat side and curtain airbags
- 16-inch Eco-spoke alloy wheels
- Headlight LED accents
- LED taillights
- Front fog lights
- Side mirror-mounted turn signal indicators
- Unique, tinted chrome front grille
- Bodyside molding tinted chrome inserts
- Chrome exterior door handles
- Proximity entry with push-button start
- Remote keyless entry, alarm and immobilizer
- Electroluminescent instrument cluster (Supervision)
- 4.2-inch color TFT multi-function trip computer with hybrid technology display
- Dual automatic temperature control
- Floor console mounted rear vents
- Heated front seats
- Chrome interior door handles
- Leatherette interior door panel inserts
- Tilt & telescopic steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controls
- Metalgrain interior accents
- AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3 with iPod®/USB & auxiliary input jacks
- Power windows, locks, heated mirrors
- Integrated Bluetooth® with phonebook transfer
- Hyundai Blue Link Telematics system
- Automatic light control
- Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS)
- Solar control glass
Sonata Hybrid Limited
The Sonata Hybrid Limited MSRP is $30,550, excluding $795 freight, and includes the following standard equipment:
- 17-inch Eco-spoke alloy wheels with unique finish
- Leather seating surfaces
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob
- Heated rear seats
- Power driver seat with lumbar support
- Navigation system with high-resolution touch-screen display
- Rear backup camera
- Infinity® premium speakers, subwoofer and external amplifier (400-watt)
- HD Radio® Technology with multicasting
- SiriusXM® NavTraffic, NavWeather and Sports & Stocks w/ 90-Day Trial
- Auto-dimming mirror/HomeLink®/Compass
- Premium door sill plates
Panoramic Sunroof Package ($1,000 MSRP)
- Panoramic Sunroof
- Glossy black door surround and outside mirror housing
2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited MSRP as shown $30,550.00. Total price with added features, freight & handling: $32,490.00.