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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid revealed with solar roof charging…

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has been revealed boasting a digital key and a solar roof system to help charge the battery while you’re driving.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has been revealed boasting a solar roof charging system that the Korean car maker claims can help “increase travel distance by an extra 1300km annually”.

Hyundai (and Kia) are working on three generations of solar roof charging systems and this first-generation designed for hybrid vehicles, depending on the weather and where the vehicle is parked, can charge the battery anywhere between 30-60 percent over the course of a normal day. The roof is made up of silicon solar panels built into the roof structure.

The second-generation system will be used on internal combustion engine vehicles and will be semi-transparent allowing it to be used on vehicles with a panoramic glass roof while the third-generation system will be used on battery electric vehicles.

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Sonata gets a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine mated to a six-speed hybrid transmission (which Hyundai claims can shift 30 percent faster than a regular transmission). The engine’s power output is 112kW and maximum torque is 188Nm. The vehicle’s electric motor delivers 38kW and 205Nm of torque. The combined system power output is 143kW with fuel economy a claimed 5.0L/100km combined.

The Sonata Hybrid also boasts digital key access, something we’ve already seen businesses like Bosch suggesting is the way of the future and more secure than current keyless entry systems. The Hyundai system works via an app using “Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimetres apart.

“Hyundai’s Digital Key can also control selected vehicle systems remotely via smartphone. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication, users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the alarm and even start the engine.

“The level of access to different vehicle functions can be tailored to each user, for a defined period. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when renting the vehicle.”

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata will arrive Down Under towards the end of this year while the Sonata Hybrid remains under review for the Australian market.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.