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Hyundai takes the wraps off its first hybrid


The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was revealed at the New York Auto Show

After releasing a teaser image last week, the new hybrid offering from Hyundai has been revealed.

The new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid features Lithium Polymer batteries, and is more powerful than the hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion, Lexus HS250h, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry the company says.

The Sonata hybrid uses an all-aluminum 2.4-litre engine that produces 169hp (126kW) and up to 156 ft-lb of torque. It is paired with a 40hp (30kW) electric motor that produces 151 ft-lb of torque.

The system is mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission.

The Sonata hybrid will get an estimated 6L/100km highway and 6.3L/100km city. It also can run fully on electricity at speeds up to 100kmh, says Hyundai Motor America President John Krafcik.

Most hybrids typically do better in city driving because of regenerative braking technology that makes heavy use of the car's battery in stop-and-go traffic. But Krafcik said Hyundai engineered its hybrid to get greater highway mileage because that's where most driving is done.

Features on the car include redesigned aerodynamics, new grille, a different set of wheels, an updated set of interior colors, and a 4.2-inch LCD screen.

The new 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will go on sale late this year.

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