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Hyundai Sonota Hybrid Travels 2,000 Miles Across U.S. on Two Tanks of Gas

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On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Sonota Hybrid Travels 2,000 Miles Across U.S. on Two Tanks of Gas

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has some serious travel and green accomplishments under its belt. A cross-country drive by Hyundai just wrapped up, and the Sonata Hybrid made it across the southern U.S. on just two tanks of gas. If you plan to replicate the accomplishment in your own Sonata, you should note that Hyundai employed the help and expertise of hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, so your mileage will undoubtedly vary.

Gerdes started a near-2,300-mile journey in San Diego, making his way over mountains and through valleys while combating the occassional snow and rain storm. Gerdes ended his journey at Jekyll Island, Georgia. He stopped only once for gas, roughly halfway between his start and finish at the 1,200-mile mark, well over the 700-mile range as given by the EPA. He averaged 60 mpg on the voyage and used 38 gallons of gas, leaving about 2.5 gallons leftover, when all was said and done.

Gerdes himself was impressed with Hyundai's hybrid. He said after the trip: "As a fan of fuel efficient vehicles, I enjoy the challenge of putting new technology to the test. This demonstration shows how the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid can deliver extremely impressive fuel economy and range for drivers who value fuel savings. This is the first time I’ve driven a car that ‘does it right!’ "
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid launched at the 2010 New York Auto Show last April. It uses a parallel hybrid system that allows the 30 kW motor or 2.5-liter Theta II engine to power the car separately or in tandem. The car's impressive highway mileage of 700 is due in part to the third-generation battery technology Hyundai employed in its design. Instead of the lithium-ion batteries that have become standard with hybrids and electrics, Hyundai uses a lithium polymer pack that is smaller, lighter, and more energy-dense.

The Sonata packs 209 hp and delivers fuel economy of 35 city and 40 highway. It can travel up to 62 mph on electric power alone. Pricing starts at $25,795.

This past weekend Hyundai began advertising for the Sonata Hybrid during the Hyundai-sponsored Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve, a game in which Notre Dame handily beat Miami 33 to 17. The Sonata is currently one of three finalists for the North American Car of the Year award, which will be decided next week in Detroit.


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