Hyundai shows off plug-in hybrid tech and previews i40 PHEV

Hyundai has demonstrated its new plug-in hybrid powertrain that’s set to be installed in a variety of its vehicles. At the Detroit Auto show, the company revealed it in the form of the Sonata PHEV – a US only model but, sharing a platform with the i40, could well preview the introduction of the tech over here.

Building on the system already employed in the standard Sonata Hybrid, the PHEV features a 9.8 kWh battery – around five times the size of the standard Hybrid’s. This gives the Sonata a fully-electric range of 22 miles – more than any rival in the class. Hyundai claims a two-and-a-half-hour recharge time from a 240V charging station (US domestic plugs only put out 120V) so it remains to be seen how quickly it’d charge over here.

A conventional 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine provides 154hp and keeps you moving when the battery is flat. A 50 kW motor is installed between the engine and the six-speed automatic gearbox – 32 per cent more powerful than the one in the standard Sonata Hybrid. Combined system output is 202hp – there aren’t any details about performance yet but it should feel fairly sprightly.

More importantly, it’s efficient – in combined mode the car can achieve 111mpg and, once the battery is depleted, 48mpg according to Hyundai’s own research. There aren’t any details on when the Sonata will hit American roads, let alone when and if an i40 PHEV will see UK shores, but, with consumers becoming ever more cost-conscious, sooner rather than later would be the preferred option.

A Sonata to your ears?

Hyundai has kept its cards close to its chest about where and when this technology will be installed in the range so, if you can’t wait to jump on the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle bandwagon, take a look at our reviews of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Vauxhall Ampera.

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