Hyundai has revealed details of a new Eco-badged entry to its 2015 Sonata line-up, unveiled earlier this year.
This new Eco model however, which employs a 1.6 turbo engine mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch auto, will not be coming to Australia.
Announced today, the new Sonata Eco will be built at Hyundai’s Alabama plant specifically for the US market, where it will take on the most frugal non-hybrid offerings from the likes of Toyota, Mazda and Ford.
The Eco’s US-market fuel figures of 7.3 l/100km make it a notably more fuel-efficient offering than the 2.4 litre volume-seller, which lists fuel use at 8.1 l/100km on the US combined-cycle system.
That’s despite similar power figures; the 1.6 turbo's 132kW and 264Nm is a near match for the naturally-aspirated 2.4 mill’s 138kW and 241Nm.
The Eco is no entry model, however: while the base 2.4 Sonata ‘SE’ will cost US$21,960 in America, the Eco will be priced from US$24,085.
Apart from the similar power figures and better fuel economy, the Eco’s higher price can also be attributed to its new seven-speed dual-clutch auto - a more advanced unit than the conventional six-speed auto found in the 2.4 petrol model.
In Australia, the new Sonata is expected to be offered only with the 2.4 litre and, for the first time, the 2.0 litre turbo engine.
That engine was kept from the local i45 range, but if the expectations of Hyundai Australia’s Bill Thomas are correct, we can look forward to the turbo mill topping the Sonata range when it arrives in the second half of this year.
“Not officially confirmed yet, but likely,” Mr Thomas told TMR today.
With 183kW and 353Nm on tap, the Sonata Turbo will be one of the most powerful volume-selling midsized sedans on the Australian market.
That will be something. Could even shake things up a little, if priced right.