Hyundai Sonata Wades Into Hybrid Price War

hyundai sonata wades into hybrid price war

Hyundai's U.S. niche is just below the the Toyondissan's offerings. Nowhere is that role more valuable than in the burgeoning hybrid segment. Considering the forthcoming Honda hybrid is set to be priced several thousand dollars less than the industry-standard Toyota Prius, Hyundai's pressed to deliver the hybrid Sonata at an even lower price point. And so they have. Li-on-powered, no less. Reuters reports that Hyundai could release a lithium-ion hybrid version of its Sonata as early as (you guessed it) 2010. Unlike other li-ion hybrids set to launch in that most magical of automotive years, the Sonata will not be a plug-in model. With Korean hybrids deliveries beginning next year, any early-adopter glitches should be resolved before sales ramp up stateside. Meanwhile, liquid-petroleum-gas-hybrid versions of Hyundai's Avante hatchback are also set to go on sale soon in Korea, although its chances of coming stateside are almost nil. Similarly, Hyundai VP for Product Development John Krafcik rates the possibility that they'll sell their Indian-built i10 city car stateside as "very unlikely."

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  • F8 F8 on Aug 24, 2008

    A car with a tiny sub-10 hp electric engine that provides marginal assist is technically a "hybrid". That doesn't make it competitive versus actual hybrids though, it just gives you a nice shiny badge and an overwhelming sense of moral superiority. Let's get some technical details on this first - we have yet to see any advanced hybrids from manufacturers other than Toyota or Honda.

  • CommanderFish CommanderFish on Aug 24, 2008

    So what does that make the Tahoe, Durango, and others, F8? Chopped liver? I agree that they're idiotic to pair the thing with gigantic V8's, but the Two-Mode Hybrid system GM and Chrysler have put together does work, we have just yet to see a practical application of it in cars. Hybrid buses based off the Two-Mode, however, have been around for a few years already. There are rumors about a FWD version of the Two-Mode being put in the Vue and later the Caravan/Town and Country. We'll get a better idea of how the system stacks up then.

  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 25, 2008

    I highly doubt Honda will introduce a "loss-leader" hybrid. They have shown great skill at relentless productivity improvement. By the time the new Honda Hybrid comes out, Honda will have been selling hybrids for 10 years. Think how much the price:performance ratio of laptop computers has improved over that same time span. Honda will certainly make more money on their new hybrid than Detroit is making on pick-em-ups these days!

  • Y2kdcar Y2kdcar on Aug 25, 2008

    f8 : A car with a tiny sub-10 hp electric engine that provides marginal assist is technically a “hybrid”. That doesn’t make it competitive versus actual hybrids though, it just gives you a nice shiny badge and an overwhelming sense of moral superiority. Let’s get some technical details on this first - we have yet to see any advanced hybrids from manufacturers other than Toyota or Honda. Or Ford. The hybrid powertrain in the Escape and Mariner, which reportedly will soon appear in the Fusion and Milan, is every bit as advanced as the one in the Toyota Prius. The GM two-mode system in the big SUVs is also a full hybrid system -- quite different from the mild hybrid engine assist system GM offers in the Malibu and the Aura.

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