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Hyundai Eyes Dual-Clutch and CVT Transmissions for More MPGs

Hyundai is taking a wider view of its powertrains in an effort to achieve better fuel economy across its full line of vehicles. In an effort to hit a corporate fuel economy of 50mpg by 2025, the Korean auto manufacturer is considering ways to not only improve engine efficiency, but how it is transferred from crank to concrete; torque convertor automatics are out, dual-clutch and CVT transmissions are in.

Hyundai is shooting for a corporate average fuel economy of 50 mpg by 2025. Not only is it planning on offering more engines that utilize direct injection and turbocharging, but it is also looking to replace its current line of torque-converto- equipped automatics with dual-clutch units and continuously variable transmissions.

Dual-clutch transmissions and CVTs can offer up to a 10-percent gain in fuel economy versus a conventional automatic gearbox. Refinement of the entire powertrain for greater efficiency is a trend becoming more and more common in the industry. Last week, General Motors announced its renewed interest in CVTs while Chrysler has begun ramping up one of its facilities to begin producing a dual-clutch transmission for future models.

Currently Hyundai offers a CVT in the South Korean Market version of the Elantra Hybrid but has plans to offer it in a yet unspecified number of smaller cars. Meanwhile, the introduction of a dual-clutch transmission would mark the first use of such a unit in a production Hyundai. Yang Woong-chul, President of Hyundai’s R&D Division said that the dual-clutch gearbox will come standard on some models and be an optional transmission in others. Also adding, “To improve our fuel economy, we are aggressively trying to apply various technologies.”

Hyundai offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder as an optional engine in the Sonata, but wants to extend its range of turbocharged engines to a 1.6-liter four-cylinder as well. In the short term, the upcoming Elantra and three other new models are all said to get at least 40mpg on the highway. The new power trains combined with the use of lightweight materials and even gas-electric hybrids will help Hyundai meet its long term goals.

Source: Automotive News

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Buying Guide

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Fair Market Price $11,144 GLS (Manual) Sedan
Motor Trend Rating
StarStarHalf-StarNo-StarNo-Star

EPA MPG:

22 City / 35 Hwy

Safety (NHTSA):

★★★★★

Horse Power:

198 @ 6300