Yesterday we shared with you several new pictures of Hyundai’s next generation sedan, the Sonata, which were caught testing in South Korea. But after I took a closer look to the pictures, I found that this test mule car has what it looks like to be Solar Panels on the roof.
Could Hyundai offer this type of roof for Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Sonata models? We have seen this solution on many concept car models, and on a few of production models, like the Toyota Prius PHEV (only in Japan).
Toyota claims the solar roof can add up to 3.7 miles (almost 6km) of electric-driving range per day while parked, and can continue to feed electricity to the battery pack while the car is in motion. Panasonic also claims the new solar roof more precisely follows the curves of the Prius Prime roof, thanks to a new laminating process for the glass that allows it to attain a three-dimensional shape.
With a new wheelbase and a sharper lines, the design of the new Sonata project DN8 is not confirmed, but looking at the pictures we can find a sleeker sedan probably influenced by the design cues of the “Le Fil Rouge” concept car recently launched at Geneva.
What we can expect in terms of engines and eco friendly? A refurbished Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid powertrains with a higher powered batteries (with an extended range), more efficient Atkinson cycle engines and even smoother transmissions.
The powertrain will change as well as design. The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group will enter their “Smart Stream (MPi engine + CVT)” powertrain that were debut at All-New Kia K3. The new Sonata is expected to be equipped with a 2.0 MPi engine with increased displacement, despite the CVT combination.
As you knew, Hyundai is focusing on Eco-cars and while the latest generations of Sonata models received the Hybrid variant a few months later the launch of NA models, with the new generation this won’t happened, and Hyundai plans to have ready the full line-up at the time of launch, they’re already testing both versions.
Hyundai will follow what Toyota has done, and will extend i40’s life until the new Sonata arrives. (Toyota has extended Avensis lifetime until they have killed and now prepares the launch of the Camry directly from U.S). So yeah, we are going to have the Sonata back in Europe.