At the ongoing New York Auto Show, Korean’s rising giant Hyundai debuted two new variants of new Sonata YF – the Sonata 2.0T and Sonata Hybrid. To be sold in the US market as 2011 models, both cars feature the latest all-aluminium Theta-II engine mated with the company’s newly-developed maintenance-free 6-speed automatic transmission.
First, let’s start with the Sonata 2.0T. It gets the 2.0-litre, 86mm × 86mm (bore × stroke) Theta-II engine enhanced with twin-scroll turbocharging and Gasoline Direct Injection. We are familiar with such trickery with the Germans, of course – Mercedes calls it Charged Gasoline Injection (CGI), whilst the VW Group calls it Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection (TFSI).
But can we seriously contemplate comparing Hyundai’s products with the Germans? Yes, we can. Merc’s 1.8-litre CGI has thus far been tuned to as high as 204hp and 310Nm, while VW’s famous 2.0-litre TFSI engine produces 267hp and 350Nm, and this is for the Golf R no less. The Sonata 2.0T is rated to produce, drumroll please, 274hp @ 6,000rpm and 365Nm @ 1,800 – 4,500rpm.
Although it should be noted that the German examples utilize single-scroll blowers, how many of us predicted seeing a Sonata with more grunt than a Mercedes C-Class or VW Golf GTI? Even BMW’s much vaunted 2.0-litre N47 turbodiesel has no answer to this, being hopelessly outgunned at a modest 177hp and 350Nm. Fuel economy is also impressive, with Hyundai estimating 10.7 litres/100km for city driving and 6.9 litres/100km for the highway run.
Sending power to the Sonata 2.0T’s front wheels is Hyundai’s in-house developed 6-speed torque converter auto gearbox, which is designed to be maintenance free for at least 300,000km, or as long as the vehicle’s life under normal use. A manual overriding feature is included for the 2.0T, which can be activated by using either the gear lever or paddle-shifters.
Joining the 2.0T in American showrooms later this year is the Sonata Hybrid, which mates the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated Theta-II GDI engine with a 30kW (40hp) electric motor. Unlike most hybrids which feature CVTs, the Sonata Hybrid utilizes the same 6-speed auto as the 2.0T, but with its torque converter replaced by an electric motor and a high-efficiency oil pump. The whole system is lined up in what Hyundai calls the Hybrid Blue Drive architecture.
Running on the Atkinson combustion cycle, the 2.4-litre engine produces 169hp @ 6,000rpm and 212Nm @ 4,500rpm. The electric motor is rated at 40hp, and has 204Nm @ 0 – 1,400rpm. This endows the Sonata Hybrid with a combined output of 209hp @ 6,000rpm and combined torque of 264Nm. Arranged in full parallel architecture, the Hybrid Blue Drive system can run either on all-electric mode or parallel drive mode.
The Sonata’s hybrid system stores its electrical charge in a 270V lithium polymer rechargeable battery (5.3Ah / 270V). Utilizing a polymer gel in place of liquid as the electrolyte, it is said to possess the advantage of allowing for lighter and more compact packaging being about 20% smaller than a lithium-ion battery pack. Hyundai further claims that this battery heats up less readily than nickel-metal hydride or lithium-ion batteries, being maitainence free for at least 10 years or 240,000km in all weather conditions.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
The Continental Automotive Group has recently announced a collaboration with the Schaeffler Group for the series production of a new generation of petrol engine turbochargers. Developed by the Engine Systems Business Unit of Continental’s Powertrain Division, the new charger is set to commence production in 2011, with plans to reach an annual production capacity of 2 million units by 2014. It is designed to allow for fully automated assembly, which Continental claims to offer advantages in terms of production quality and cost.
“This collaboration is the result of Continental’s successful search for a strong partner to complete the final development phase and put the turbocharger into series production. It means we will be profiting from Schaeffler’s extensive mechanical expertise”, explained Dr. Peter Gutzmer, head of the aforementioned Engine Systems Business Unit.
The scope of collaboration between the two parties are being revealed as such: Continental shall be responsible for integrating the turbocharger into the vehicle manufacturers’ engine systems, and for application development, product engineering, purchasing, sales and quality, whereas Schaeffler will provide support in the final development phase and will assume full responsibility for industrialization.
Revealed details of the turbocharger specify a 38mm-diameter turbine designed to spin at speeds up to 240,000 rpm. Such specification levels calls for a high level of fit and finish of the various moving parts, and Continental has expressed its confidence in that the Schaeffler Group’s possess sufficient technical prowess to meet these demands.
Schaeffler’s site at Lahr, Germany, shall serve as the ‘Centre of Excellence’ for the process development and the transfer of know-how to other production sites. The Schaeffler Group’s mechanical engineering department will be tasked to design the assembly line and production facilities. Additionally, Continental also plans to further leverage on the Schaeffler Group’s massive worldwide presence to ensure speedy response to orders.
With European manufacturers increasingly favouring forced induction over large displacement, Continental’s development of this new turbocharger certainly couldn’t be timelier. According to Dr. Gutzmer “turbocharging gasoline engines is becoming ever more important since it is the only way to achieve the downsizing of engines that is essential to the reduction of fuel consumption.”
Continental’s maiden attempt at developing a turbo was completed in a record time of three years, with work being spread out between the company’s two sites at Grünstadt in Rhineland-Palatinate and Regensburg in Bavaria. The turbo is designed for assembly along a fully automated single axis production line, a setup which Continental claims to simultaneously deliver lower defect rates, cost benefits and increased volume. It is also further claimed to be vastly scalable and easily adaptable for various engine sizes.www.chinaturbochargersolutions.com