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New Hyundai Sonata & Next-Gen Kia Optima to Have AWD

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hyundai third generation platform sonata (2)

Hyundai-Kia Motors will introduce the “All Wheel Drive” electronically-controlled AWD system in its new Sonata and next-gen K5 (Optima) models, which are equipped with a third-generation mid-size platform.

According to , Hyundai and Kia Motors will complete the development of a full-size four-wheel drive system for a sedan, and plan to install it in the K5 3rd generation full-change model, which is expected to be released at the end of the year. The company plans to expand its application to the Hyundai Sonata.

The third-generation mid-sized platform developed by Hyundai-Kia is designed to accommodate a variety of structures, including the Sonata and K5 sedan, as well as sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and electric vehicles. With the new platform, design freedom has increased, allowing the addition of a full-time four-wheel drive system. 

The adoption of the all-wheel drive system will significantly enhance the competitiveness of mid-size sedan products. Today’s Sonata and K5 mainstream market Among the mid-sized sedans on the market in North America, the four-wheel drive system is a subaru of ‘Legacy’ and Nissan ‘Altima’. Most vehicles, such as the Sonata and the K5’s most powerful competitors, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, did not have a four-wheel drive system. 

2021 kia optima (10)
Next-gen Kia Optima (codenamed as JL3)

The Sonata and K5’s all-wheel drive four-wheel drive system features the best driving power in a variety of driving environments. Unlike a general mechanical four-wheel drive system in which front and rear wheel driving force changes are limited, the left and right wheel braking force and front and rear driving force are variably controlled by detecting the state of the road surface and the speed. This provides stable driving performance on slippery roads, sharp cornering, winter snow and ice roads.

The new all-wheel drive system incorporates an electronic coupling between the front and rear wheel drive axles to actively distribute front and rear wheel drive forces based on vehicle driving information such as rush, acceleration, and constant speed. We also applied control technology by turning situation. Controls the braking force of wheels that require driving force when the vehicle is turning and wheels that are not needed to improve safety when turning at high speed or turning on unstable surfaces. 

The driving force is controlled by driving mode, which is different from the existing mechanical four-wheel drive system. In eco mode, it focuses on driving fuel economy. In sports mode, it sets dynamic driving sensibility mainly and differently for front wheel and rear wheel driving force distribution, providing economic driving as well as driving pleasure.

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Jose Antonio López

Passionated about Korean cars from Kia & Hyundai. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.

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