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(2nd LD) Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid adds solid green credentials to lineup

All Headlines 14:10 April 05, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS details in 6th para, background in last two paras)
By Choi Kyong-ae

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. has launched the Grandeur Hybrid that will add green credentials to its lineup as the South Korean carmaker competes with its Japanese rivals in major markets.

The Grandeur Hybrid is the carmaker's latest gasoline-hybrid model based on the all-new full-size sedan that is called Azera in overseas markets like the United States.

The previous hybrids made by the company were based on the compact Avante, Sonata midsize sedan and an earlier version of the Grandeur sedan. There is also the Ioniq hybrid developed from the bottom up as a eco-friendly vehicle.

"The Grandeur Hybrid model comes at a more compelling price point, higher fuel efficiency, space and refined driving characteristics compared to its rival Lexus' ES hybrid sedan," a company official said in a press briefing at the test drive event Wednesday.

As the demand for environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles is expected to rise further, the country's biggest carmaker plans to introduce more hybrid and electric cars for a share in the technologically advanced car markets.

Hyundai unveiled the Grandeur Hybrid mated with a 2.4-liter Atkinson cycle gasoline engine and a six-speed automatic transmission during the Seoul Motor Show that began last Friday and runs through this coming Sunday.

At the test-drive event, the company allowed the local press to experience and evaluate the car on a 40-kilometer course near Seoul.

Hyundai Motor's Grandeur Hybrid (Yonhap file photo)

The hybrid Grandeur's fuel efficiency is rated at 16.2 kmpl using 17-inch tires. The car has a 1.76 kWh battery and can operate longer on electric drive mode that saves gas.

The engine and motor can generate 159 horsepower and 21 kilogram-force meters of torque combined, with the power sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The new hybrid car is also equipped with the "Hyundai Smart Sense," a package of advanced driver assistance systems, which was adopted for the first time in the new Grandeur sedan late last year.

Hyundai acknowledges that such safety features in vehicles are nothing new as they are often seen in countless other high-end models, but what is different is the concerted effort being placed on car safety to win over more consumers.

Faced with stiffer competition, Hyundai has joined bigger rivals to gain a share of the technologically advanced car market, as safety is the first thing many customers think about when buying a new car.

Hyundai aims to sell more than 10,000 units a year of the hybrid car in the domestic market at prices between 36 million won and 40 million won (US$32,000-$36,000).

Hyundai has yet to decide on the timeframe for exporting the Grandeur sedan and the Grandeur Hybrid to markets outside of South Korea.

A senior Hyundai official said the company plans to launch the two Grandeur models in global markets "soon," without giving specific details.

Currently, Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid and the Ioniq Hybrid models are available both in the domestic and overseas markets.

Its sister company Kia Motors Corp. has launched the K5 Hybrid mid-size sedan and the Niro Hybrid car at home and abroad. But the K7 Hybrid large-size sedan is only domestically available.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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