Hyundai unveiled its first direct injected engine last week and estimates that in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, it will be capable of getting 35 mpg.
Hyundai’s 35 mpg figure is currently pending EPA certification, but if that figure is what appears on the window sticker, it will launch Hyundai to the top of the fuel economy charts. The Chevrolet Malibu, with a rating of 33 mpg highway, currently holds the best-in-class fuel economy title for non-hybrid, mid-size sedans. The new Theta II GDI engine, as Hyundai calls it, is the automaker’s first step on the way to improving fuel economy standards across its lineup to meet upcoming fuel economy regulations.
“At Hyundai’s core is a promise to deliver unparalleled quality and value to our customers,” says John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. “Leading the introduction of this technology in our most important, highest volume product, the all-new 2011 Sonata, demonstrates our commitment to delivering products that excite and reward Hyundai owners.”
In addition to delivering improved fuel economy over the Theta I 2.4-liter four-cylinder, the Theta II GDI increases horsepower and torque figures as well. In U.S. tune, the direct injected 2.4-liter engine will produce 200 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Those are slightly different from the figures we reported earlier of the Korean-spec engine.
While the 2.4-liter engine is the first in Hyundai’s Theta four-cylinder family to receive the technology, it will be expanded to the other four-cylinder engines in Hyundai/Kia’s lineup in the next few years. At some point, we should see all of Hyundai and Kia’s four-cylinder engines using direct injection.