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Trevor Collett | Jan, 13 2015 | 1 Comment

Hyundai’s first-ever plug-in hybrid model has made its debut, unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Korean carmaker has chosen the midsized Sonata sedan to house its debut PHEV technology, which follows in the footsteps of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid; unveiled in its home market last month.

The plug-in hybrid version boasts an electric-only range of 35km - which Hyundai says betters all others in the midsized PHEV sedan segment - thanks in part to its 9.8kWh lithium battery pack.

A full charge can be achieved in around 2.5 hours using a ‘Level Two’ charger, rising to five hours when a conventional outlet is used.

Power comes from a 115kW/190Nm 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine coupled with a 50kW electric engine, matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum combined output is 151kW.

Hyundai estimates the Sonata PHEV’s official fuel figure will be 2.5 l/100km, with a combined figure of 5.9 l/100km when both engines are operating.

The Sonata PHEV continues the theme from its hybrid sibling by offering unique front styling to set it apart in the Sonata range.

Hyundai says this give its new model a class-leading 0.24 drag coefficient rating, while new front and rear lights along with a new wheel design and (naturally) a guard-mounted charging port sets the PHEV further apart from the regular Sonata range.

Still want to stand out further from the Sonata crowd? Hyundai also offers two exclusive paint finishes for the PHEV: Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist.

Inside, the PHEV gets a unique instrument cluster to highlight the activity and charging behaviour of the petrol and electric engines, along with an internal charge indicator which can be seen from the outside of the vehicle and optional all-new Blue Pearl leather seat trim.

Owners will be able to install an app on their smartphones, enabling remote control of the Sonata’s recharging times (start and stop), climate control settings and more, while also monitoring current battery life or the remaining time until fully-charged.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be built at the Asan plant in South Korea, and will go on sale in various markets later this year.

Hyundai's Australian arm says it has no plans to launch either the Sonata PHEV or previously-released Sonata Hybrid at this stage, but the business case for hybrid models is constantly under review.

MORE: Hyundai Sonata Turbo Confirmed For Australia
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Hyundai | PHEV | Detroit

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