Hyundai i45 hybrid & turbo announced

Following news last week outlining the details of Hyundai's upcoming Sonata Hybrid, as it's known in North America, comes further information today that Hyundai will offer its all-new i45 sedan - as it will be known in Australia - with a choice of direct injection petrol (GDI - or Gasoline Direct Injection), full-hybrid and twin-scroll turbocharged powertrains.
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"In May the i45 will arrive in Australia, one of three new Hyundai models being launched here in 2010." said Oliver Mann, Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Marketing Director."Already breaking records in South Korea and receiving awards in the US, i45 is certain to make a big impact in the competitive mid-sized segment."

As a part of Hyundai’s global eco-friendly strategy ‘Blue Drive’, the i45 will incorporate a full parallel hybrid drive system that can operate via an electric motor, through its advanced Atkinson cycle 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine or a combination of the pair depending on driving conditions and driver demands.

Hyundai says its proprietary full parallel architecture differs from the power split technology (series hybrid) used by most competitors, allowing significant efficiency advantages. The i45 is also set to benefit from high-efficiency lithium polymer batteries which are both lighter and more compact than existing nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion units.

The Hyundai i45 Hybrid will also utilise an efficient and compact six-speed automatic (not a continuously variable transmission like many other hybrids) coupled with a modified hybrid starter-generator to eliminate the need for a torque converter. The system allows more efficient use of the electric motor's power, allowing it to be driven at higher speeds than its competitors in EV-only mode.

Hyundai predict highway fuel consumption figures of 6.03L/100km and a city cycle figure of just 6.36L/100km.

Combining the latest weigh-saving architecture and the new, lightweight lithium polymer batteries, Hyundai have trimmed the i45's kerb weight to just 1556 kilograms, making it the lightest in its class. This fact, coupled with a segment-leading combined output of 156kW/264Nm, gives the Hyundai i45 hybrid a significant power-to-weight ratio advantage over its nearest rivals.

Hyundai i45 'Blue Drive' Hybrid key components:

  • A 30kW electric motor delivering 205Nm of torque
  • A regenerative braking system
  • An integrated starter generator that enables the engine to turn off at stops and restart automatically under acceleration
  • A lithium polymer battery package, with 5.3 Ah of capacity at 270 volt
  • A Theta II 2.4-litre petrol engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission with electric oil pump
  • Weight-efficient bodyshell with a low drag coefficient (Cd 0.25)
  • Electric air conditioning compressor
  • Hybrid power control unit

Hyundai will also release its new 2.0-litre Theta II turbocharged petrol direct injection (GDI) in the i45. The engine marks the first time Hyundai have used both direct injection and turbocharged technology together in the one engine.

The new four-cylinder GDI engine develops 204kW of power at 6000rpm and 365Nm of torque from 1800 to 4500rpm. Using a twin-scroll turbocharger for instantaneous throttle response, Hyundai estimate a highway cycle fuel economy figure of 6.92L/100km. The new engine is mated exclusively to a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronically-controlled sequential manual mode.

The Hyundai i45 sedan will arrive in Australia from May. Pricing and full specification details will be announced closer to the launch.

For more information and images of the Hyundai i45 Hybrid, click on this link.