Hyundai Motor Co. in partnership with Kia Motors plans to launch a plugin hybrid version of its Sonata sedan in 2013, Reuters said on Monday.
Hyundai recently succeeded in producing a prototype of the Sonata PHEV at its plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province after three years of development. However, a Hyundai responsible with the research department said the company planned to launch a plug-in hybrid in 2013, but had not decided which model to roll out.
However, most probably, the conventional hybrid Sonata is based on Hyundai’s full parallel Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, which will serve as the foundation for future hybrid drive vehicles to be developed by Hyundai.
According to Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s head of product planning, a plug-in Sonata is definitely doable and, in fact, is significantly easier to develop than one might think.
Hyundai plans to launch a hybrid version of the Sonata, its first global hybrid model, in South Korea in May, while Kia eyes rollouts of the Optima Hybrid the same month here.