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William Maley

Nissan News: Nissan Gives 2017 Rogue A New Face, Hybrid

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It seems odd that Nissan didn't choose one of the major auto shows to introduce a refreshed model. Instead, they chose the Miami Auto Show to introduce the updated 2017 Rogue crossover.

The first change you'll notice is the revised front end. Nissan took some ideas from the Murano with a large V-Motion grille that dips into the front bumper and sharper headlights with LEDs. Around back are new taillights and bumper. The interior is mostly unchanged aside from a new steering wheel and new trim pieces. 

Under the hood is where you'll find the biggest change. Nissan has added a hybrid powertrain for the Rogue. There is a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 141 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque teamed with a 30 kW electric motor. Total output stands at 176 horsepower. You can get the hybrid with either front or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy figures for the Rogue Hybrid stand at,

  • FWD: 33 City/35 Highway/34 Combined
  • AWD: 31 City/34 Highway/33 Combined

The Rogue also features a 2.5L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. No matter which powertrain you pick, Nissan's xTronic CVT comes standard.

On the safety front, the Rogue adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, and rear cross traffic alert.

Nissan hasn't announced pricing for the 2017 Rogue, but it will arrive at dealers later this year.

Source: Nissan

Press Release is on Page 2


New 2017 Nissan Rogue offers advanced safety and security, connectivity, infotainment and driving aid technologies

  • New Safety Shield technologies include Intelligent Cruise Control and Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Connectivity and infotainment features range from NissanConnectSM with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services to Bose® audio system with nine speakers and Siri® Eyes Free
  • Driving aids include High Beam Assist headlights, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Prevention and Lane Departure Warning, and Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection

As part of a major revision for the 2017 model year, the popular Nissan Rogue crossover now includes the widest range of available advanced technology features ever. For example, adding to the list of previously available Nissan Safety Shield technologies such as radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) (both now standard on Rogue SV grade in addition to Rogue SL), the 2017 Rogue is also available with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP).

Two additional Safety Shield technologies that are newly available for 2017 are Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)1 and Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection2. Intelligent Cruise Control uses radar to maintain a set distance between the Rogue and the vehicle ahead, even braking to help maintain that distance.

Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection provides audio and visual display warnings to help alert the driver of a potential frontal collision and help reduce speed if necessary. If a collision is unavoidable, the feature can engage the brakes to help reduce both the speed of the impact and the severity of the collision. The system is also designed to help avoid or mitigate frontal collisions with pedestrians, using a camera-based system to recognize human shapes.

Both Intelligent Cruise Control and Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection are optional for Rogue SL as part of the new Platinum Package – along with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention and new 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Rogue connected technology and smartphone integration features include available NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps. The system, which is standard on Rogue SL and optional on Rogue SV, offers a 7.0-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link™ – which provides 24/7 access to sports scores, movie listings, stock prices, gas prices, weather and other information (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).

NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), which comes standard on Rogue SL model, offers available services including Automatic Collision Notification, Emergency Call and Stolen Vehicle Locator, Maintenance Alerts and Vehicle Health Report. Remote Access is another key feature, with help accessible through a compatible computer or smartphone. Services include Remote Door Lock and Unlock3, and Remote Horn and Flashing Lights to help find the Rogue in a garage or parking lot.

NissanConnect Services also provides enhanced Internet Navigation searches. Navigation search options include Assisted Search (live agent), Connected Search, Destination Download, Journey Planner, Send-to-Car, and navigation search (points of interest).

The system also offers customizable alerts via email, text message or automated phone call. Alerts include Vehicle Speed, Curfew Alert (with available notification to the driver 20 minutes before the Curfew Alert), Valet Alerts (more than two miles from drop-off) and geographical boundaries setting.

Also available is Siri® Eyes Free4, which makes it easy to make and receive calls, hear and send text messages and emails, select and play music from a compatible device, get notifications, request directions and more.

In addition, Rogue offers available Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD)5, which utilizes four small wide-angle cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle to provide a “bird's eye” virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle. It provides additional selectable split-screen close-ups of the front, rear and curb views, helping the driver maneuver the car in or out of tight spots.

Moving Object Detection builds on the capabilities of the AVM system, helping enhance the driver's situational awareness by providing visual and audible warnings if the system detects large moving objects around the vehicle in situations such as when pulling out of a parking space.

Available audio systems start with the standard 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with 5.0-inch color audio display, auxiliary audio input jack, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately) and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant (compatible smartphone required). Rogue SV grade adds two additional speakers, bringing the total to six. Rogue SL grade includes a Bose® audio system with nine speakers and 7.0-inch audio display. The Bose® system is available on SV models as part of the new Sun and Sound Touring Package.

In addition, standard on all Rogue grade levels is the Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD), located in the center of the instrument display between the tachometer and speedometer, which features infotainment and driver assistance displays.

Finally, High Beam Assist headlights, which are standard on Rogue SL, automatically change between high and low beam settings and back again as needed, such as when headlights or taillights from other vehicles are detected.

Nissan offers Rogue drivers more choice – new Rogue Hybrid model launched for 2017

The Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the newest addition to the popular Rogue crossover lineup, offers a second powertrain choice for Rogue buyers for the 2017 model year – in both FWD and AWD applications. Like the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline engine-equipped standard Rogue models, the Rogue Hybrid offers freshened exterior and interior styling, additional safety, security and driving aid technology and a wide range of standard and available comfort, convenience and utility features.

The new, compact hybrid powertrain is designed to balance performance with significant increases in fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of an electric motor's instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 2.0-liter engine and advanced Xtronic transmission, provides an energetic feel under all driving conditions.

The 2017 Rogue Hybrid produces projected fuel economy1 of 33 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined (estimated) for the front-wheel drive model. Rogue Hybrid all-wheel drive models are projected at 31 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined (estimated)1. Most significantly, it does so with virtually no compromise of performance, interior roominess or cargo space (compared to standard Rogue models).

The hybrid system combines an advanced 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine and a compact lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control. The system's gasoline engine is rated at 141 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque, while the advanced 30 kW electric motor is rated at 40 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system net power is 176 horsepower.

At the core of the Rogue Hybrid gasoline-electric hybrid system is Nissan's advanced Intelligent Dual Clutch Control system. The first of the two clutches is a dry clutch installed between the 4-cylinder engine and the electric motor, where the torque converter would normally be, and the second is between the motor and Xtronic transmission.

The high-output lithium-ion battery is able to charge/discharge quickly, which contributes to high-speed, precise control of the electric motor and optimum clutch control, and in combination enable smooth start and quick shift changes. An Intelligent Regenerative Braking system partially recharges the battery during vehicle braking and additional fuel economy is provided by an Idle Start/Stop system.

In addition, with use of the compact Lithium-ion battery located under the rear cargo area, the Rogue Hybrid maintains its flat rear floor for easy passenger access to the rear seat and little reduction of cargo room.

  2017 Rogue Hybrid 2017 Rogue
Powertrain 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder, 30 kW electric motor, Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch Control 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder
Horsepower (hp) 176 (net) 170 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) - 175 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission Xtronic transmission with manual gear shifts and standard Sport and Eco Mode switches Xtronic transmission with manual gear shifts and standard Sport and Eco Mode switches
Projected Fuel Economy (estimated)1 – FWD 33 mpg city
35 mpg highway
34 mpg combined
26 mpg city
33 mpg highway
29 mpg combined
Projected Fuel Economy (estimated)1 – FWD 31 mpg city
34 mpg highway
33 mpg combined
25 mpg city
32 mpg highway
28 mpg combined
Cargo Volume (cu. ft.): 
Behind 1st row
Behind 2nd row

61.4
27.3

61.6
28.4

 


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I honestly believe the widespread use of CVTs hurts Nissan's sales.  On top of operational feel disadvantages, Nissan's CVT is not exactly a stellar example of reliability.  The hybrid won't sell.  Ford tried selling a hybrid compact CUV in the Escape, didn't last long because the benefits just were not there.

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Nissan's issues are further forward than the transmission.... that awful 2.4 liter 4-cylinder they have is very low on refinement.   Really... give me an old Ecotech 2.4 that never had an oil change and it would be about the same as a new Nissan 2.4. 

The CVT is fine in the VQ powered vehicles... I actually really like it. But paired with the 2.4, it brings out the worst of that engine.

The primary redeeming quality of the hybrid is that it would lower the workload of the 4-cylinder, making it more tolerable to drive. 

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5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Nissan's issues are further forward than the transmission.... that awful 2.4 liter 4-cylinder they have is very low on refinement.   Really... give me an old Ecotech 2.4 that never had an oil change and it would be about the same as a new Nissan 2.4. 

The CVT is fine in the VQ powered vehicles... I actually really like it. But paired with the 2.4, it brings out the worst of that engine.

The primary redeeming quality of the hybrid is that it would lower the workload of the 4-cylinder, making it more tolerable to drive. 

I think you mean 2.5.

Yes, that is a terrible engine. I drove an Altima a couple of months back with the 2.5, and it reminded me why Nissan should go back to the drawing board with it.

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The Rouge was the last Nissan to not have any weird styling elements and in turn both the most cohesive and arguably best looking of everything currently in the lineup.

This refresh is change for change's sake, and while its better than the Murano, the newest front end is still BOLD FOR BOLDNESS BECAUSE MORE BOLD AND ALSO BIGGER.It's not bad but its not better.

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Yeah they should call this one the Moulin Rouge.

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On 9/10/2016 at 11:11 PM, William Maley said:

I think you mean 2.5.

Yes, that is a terrible engine. I drove an Altima a couple of months back with the 2.5, and it reminded me why Nissan should go back to the drawing board with it.

I would concur, but I have been accused of being overly negative with some vehicles.  But the Altima is really, really hard for me to have any love for.

On 9/11/2016 at 2:15 AM, Intrepidation said:

The Rouge was the last Nissan to not have any weird styling elements and in turn both the most cohesive and arguably best looking of everything currently in the lineup.

This refresh is change for change's sake, and while its better than the Murano, the newest front end is still BOLD FOR BOLDNESS BECAUSE MORE BOLD AND ALSO BIGGER.It's not bad but its not better.

I do not think the current design language of Nissan will age well. loved the new Maxima at first,a t this point I am finding myself really tired of it.

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9 hours ago, regfootball said:

original escape hybrid sold really well in the US.  It was a mistake for Ford to discontinue it in 2013.

Indeed. The reason they stopped selling it has to do with the platform move not sales.

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On 9/10/2016 at 5:46 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

Nissan's issues are further forward than the transmission.... that awful 2.4 liter 4-cylinder they have is very low on refinement.   Really... give me an old Ecotech 2.4 that never had an oil change and it would be about the same as a new Nissan 2.4. 

The CVT is fine in the VQ powered vehicles... I actually really like it. But paired with the 2.4, it brings out the worst of that engine.

The primary redeeming quality of the hybrid is that it would lower the workload of the 4-cylinder, making it more tolerable to drive. 

 

Noticed that in a test drive with a friend.....sounded like we were trying to kill it on the test drive....

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      “Our new 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in models add appeal in every area, from exterior to interior design, handling, steering, ride comfort, safety and infotainment,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in are sure to attract even more eco-focused buyers.”
      The new Sonata exterior design conveys a new appearance from every vantage point, including new wheel designs. On the inside, a new instrument panel center stack, steering wheel, available audio/video navigation system, wireless phone charging and rear USB charge port further enhance the interior experience.
      HYBRID POWERTRAIN
      The heart of the 2018 Sonata Hybrid is a 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found. Sonata Hybrid’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) delivers the same responsive, engaging driving characteristics Sonata owners expect while improving fuel economy through the use of a larger electric motor.
      This innovative transmission uses an electric oil pump, which helps improve efficiency. It is possible for Sonata Hybrid to operate solely on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph by decoupling the gasoline engine from the rest of the drivetrain.
      Sonata Hybrid’s Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor produces 38 kW (51 horsepower) and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Hybrid system net power is 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Sonata Hybrid SE has preliminary internal estimates of 39 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined. The Sonata Hybrid’s total range is estimated at more than 650 miles under typical driving conditions.
      The lithium-ion polymer battery pack capacity is 1.76 kWh and the battery pack fits under the trunk floor, which allows for a flat trunk floor as well as available 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Sonata Hybrid offers 13.3 cu. ft. of cargo volume, thanks to the compact battery pack dimensions and efficient design. Locating the battery pack beneath the trunk floor helps improve cargo volume and total interior volume with 106.1 cu. ft., the most in its segment.
      PLUG-IN HYBRID POWERTRAIN
      Although the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is very technologically advanced, it drives similarly to the regular Sonata Hybrid, but with the additional benefit of extended all-electric range. A 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, more than five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, gives the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid an EPA-estimated all-electric range of up to 27 miles, and it can recharge in less than three hours with a level-two charger. It offers the best of both worlds by providing the power delivery of a hybrid gasoline engine, perfect for long trips, with the additional benefit of environmentally-friendly all-electric range for commuting. As a result, many consumers will be able to complete their daily commute without using a single drop of fuel, and total estimated range is an impressive 590 miles.
      The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED), a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50 kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used in Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher engine load and speed. A 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge is depleted. The Sonata Plug-in Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque and the total system output is 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
      SAFETY FEATURES
      2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in come standard with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a rearview camera are also standard. LED headlamps are optional and LED taillights and DRLs are standard.
      Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies, such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard. Available advanced safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic High Beam Assist.
      The Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Keep Assist uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning on the instrument cluster illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver.
      Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another standard feature that uses advanced technologies from the Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers benefit from active safety technologies.
      CONVENIENCE FEATURES
      The Sonata Hybrid delivers the convenience technology one would expect in a luxury vehicle in an incredibly efficient mid-size hybrid sedan. Hyundai’s Hands-free Smart Trunk is available as well as an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, an Integrated Memory System for driver’s seat and side mirrors, segment-exclusive rear window sunshades, ventilated front seats, power front seats with adjustable driver lumbar support and Smart Cruise Control featuring stop/start capability.
      MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in offer an eight-inch color touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® smartphone integration, iPod®/USB and auxiliary inputs, SiriusXM® satellite radio and Bluetooth® phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer and external Infinity® amplifier.
      The available eight-inch navigation system offers a map and music split-screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets one to six. For 2018, this navigation system also adds Bird’s Eye View map perspective capability. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer; simply rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on sports broadcasts. SiriusXM Travel Link® provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times.

      AERODYNAMICS
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in use the same functional design cues to improve the drag coefficient to an industry-leading 0.24 Cd.

      NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Blue Link-equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice navigation services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill, and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes:
      Widgets for easy access to remote features
      Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped)
      Access to Blue Link notification settings
      More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com.

      MYHYUNDAI with BLUE LINK® APP
      Owners can manage and monitor the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid remotely via the Blue Link smartphone app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Sonata Plug-in and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Sonata Plug-in.
      For Sonata Plug-in owners who will charge at their residence, one of the most useful features of the app is the ability to manage their Plug-in charging schedule. Owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via their smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is plugged-in.
      A distinctive instrument cluster provides Sonata Plug-in Hybrid drivers with additional information about the vehicle’s functions. A charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard to make it easy to see the state of charge from outside the vehicle.
      Individuals that have different electric rates at off-peak times may want to schedule the charge to reduce cost as well as reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. Users can do that with the new app based on time and date. For example, charging could be set to start at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on a weekly basis.

      Connected Car Services:
      Remote Start with Climate Control and defroster Remote Lock/Unlock Vehicle Diagnostics/status Stolen Vehicle Recovery Car Finder Connected Plug-in Hybrid Charge Management Services:
      Start or stop charging Set-up charging schedule with days of the week and time Current battery level with real-time electric and fuel range Real-time fuel range Plug status (in/out) Charge status Time left until fully charged SONATA PLUG-IN AVAILABILITY AND TAX CREDITS
      The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be distributed in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, but customers in any of the other states can custom order the vehicle at their local Hyundai dealer. Sonata Plug-in Hybrid buyers are currently eligible for a $4,919 federal tax credit. These tax credits reduce the amount of federal tax the purchaser is liable for, making them much more valuable+ than tax deductions. In addition, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for HOV-lane access in certain states.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Following a few months after the debut of the refreshed Sonata, Hyundai used the Chicago Auto Show to debut the 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid.
      Like the gas counterpart, the hybrid models feature new front and rear end styling, revised wheel designs (16 and 17-inches), and LED headlights. The interior is mostly the same as the standard model aside from a different instrument cluster and additional screens pertaining to hybrid system for the infotainment system. Qi wireless charging for smartphones is available as an option. 
      Under the hoods of the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid is a 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder producing 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. This is matched with an electric motor in the six-speed automatic transmission - 35kW for the hybrid and 50 kW for the plug-in. Total output stands at 193 horsepower for the hybrid and 202 hp for the plug-in. The Hybrid features a 1.76 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, while the Plug-In boasts a larger 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack.
      Hyundai says the Sonata Hybrid SE is estimated to return 39 City/45 Highway/42 Combined and have a total range of more than 650 miles - about the length from Detroit to Chicago and back. The Plug-In has an estimated electric-only range of 27 miles and is able to be recharged in less than 3 hours when plugged into a level 2 charger.
      The Sonata Hybrid arrives sometime in the first quarter and the Plug-In will follow in the second quarter.
      Source: Hyundai
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Hyundai Reveals 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Models at Chicago Auto Show
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models receive extensive exterior redesign New instrument panel center stack, steering and infotainment features
      wheel New available safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist Steering and suspension refined for improved ride and handling CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2018 – Hyundai today unveiled its redesigned 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models at the Chicago Auto Show, the largest in the U.S.
      2018 Sonata Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid Highlights
      New front/rear fascia design, grille, hood, front fenders, rear deck lid, headlights/taillights New 16-inch and 17-inch eco-spoke wheel designs New LED headlights with cornering Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) function New instrument panel center stack, steering wheel and available heated steering wheel New, stiffer front anti-roll bar and recalibrated steering assistance feel New, more rigid rear-trailing-arm design with retuned bushings for responsiveness Standard Blind-spot detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist Newly available Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Keep Assist New, upgraded audio/video navigation system with new Bird’s Eye View map perspective New HERE HD Traffic (Real-time Traffic Service – non-paid subscription) Qi wireless phone charging on navigation-equipped models New rear USB charging port New three-year complimentary Blue Link Connected Car, Remote and Guidance on Blue Link-equipped models (Guidance requires navigation) Repackaged standard and available content for outstanding customer value The new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid feature a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, safety, suspension and new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2018 Hybrid and Plug-in will be produced in Asan, Korea, with Hybrid availability in the first quarter of 2018 and Plug-in availability in the second quarter of 2018.
      “Our new 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in models add appeal in every area, from exterior to interior design, handling, steering, ride comfort, safety and infotainment,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in are sure to attract even more eco-focused buyers.”
      The new Sonata exterior design conveys a new appearance from every vantage point, including new wheel designs. On the inside, a new instrument panel center stack, steering wheel, available audio/video navigation system, wireless phone charging and rear USB charge port further enhance the interior experience.
      HYBRID POWERTRAIN
      The heart of the 2018 Sonata Hybrid is a 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found. Sonata Hybrid’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) delivers the same responsive, engaging driving characteristics Sonata owners expect while improving fuel economy through the use of a larger electric motor.
      This innovative transmission uses an electric oil pump, which helps improve efficiency. It is possible for Sonata Hybrid to operate solely on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph by decoupling the gasoline engine from the rest of the drivetrain.
      Sonata Hybrid’s Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor produces 38 kW (51 horsepower) and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Hybrid system net power is 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Sonata Hybrid SE has preliminary internal estimates of 39 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined. The Sonata Hybrid’s total range is estimated at more than 650 miles under typical driving conditions.
      The lithium-ion polymer battery pack capacity is 1.76 kWh and the battery pack fits under the trunk floor, which allows for a flat trunk floor as well as available 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Sonata Hybrid offers 13.3 cu. ft. of cargo volume, thanks to the compact battery pack dimensions and efficient design. Locating the battery pack beneath the trunk floor helps improve cargo volume and total interior volume with 106.1 cu. ft., the most in its segment.
      PLUG-IN HYBRID POWERTRAIN
      Although the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is very technologically advanced, it drives similarly to the regular Sonata Hybrid, but with the additional benefit of extended all-electric range. A 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, more than five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, gives the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid an EPA-estimated all-electric range of up to 27 miles, and it can recharge in less than three hours with a level-two charger. It offers the best of both worlds by providing the power delivery of a hybrid gasoline engine, perfect for long trips, with the additional benefit of environmentally-friendly all-electric range for commuting. As a result, many consumers will be able to complete their daily commute without using a single drop of fuel, and total estimated range is an impressive 590 miles.
      The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED), a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50 kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used in Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher engine load and speed. A 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge is depleted. The Sonata Plug-in Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque and the total system output is 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
      SAFETY FEATURES
      2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in come standard with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a rearview camera are also standard. LED headlamps are optional and LED taillights and DRLs are standard.
      Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies, such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard. Available advanced safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic High Beam Assist.
      The Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Keep Assist uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning on the instrument cluster illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver.
      Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another standard feature that uses advanced technologies from the Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers benefit from active safety technologies.
      CONVENIENCE FEATURES
      The Sonata Hybrid delivers the convenience technology one would expect in a luxury vehicle in an incredibly efficient mid-size hybrid sedan. Hyundai’s Hands-free Smart Trunk is available as well as an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, an Integrated Memory System for driver’s seat and side mirrors, segment-exclusive rear window sunshades, ventilated front seats, power front seats with adjustable driver lumbar support and Smart Cruise Control featuring stop/start capability.
      MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in offer an eight-inch color touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® smartphone integration, iPod®/USB and auxiliary inputs, SiriusXM® satellite radio and Bluetooth® phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer and external Infinity® amplifier.
      The available eight-inch navigation system offers a map and music split-screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets one to six. For 2018, this navigation system also adds Bird’s Eye View map perspective capability. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer; simply rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on sports broadcasts. SiriusXM Travel Link® provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times.

      AERODYNAMICS
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in use the same functional design cues to improve the drag coefficient to an industry-leading 0.24 Cd.

      NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
      Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Blue Link-equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice navigation services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill, and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes:
      Widgets for easy access to remote features
      Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped)
      Access to Blue Link notification settings
      More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com.

      MYHYUNDAI with BLUE LINK® APP
      Owners can manage and monitor the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid remotely via the Blue Link smartphone app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Sonata Plug-in and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Sonata Plug-in.
      For Sonata Plug-in owners who will charge at their residence, one of the most useful features of the app is the ability to manage their Plug-in charging schedule. Owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via their smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is plugged-in.
      A distinctive instrument cluster provides Sonata Plug-in Hybrid drivers with additional information about the vehicle’s functions. A charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard to make it easy to see the state of charge from outside the vehicle.
      Individuals that have different electric rates at off-peak times may want to schedule the charge to reduce cost as well as reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. Users can do that with the new app based on time and date. For example, charging could be set to start at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on a weekly basis.

      Connected Car Services:
      Remote Start with Climate Control and defroster Remote Lock/Unlock Vehicle Diagnostics/status Stolen Vehicle Recovery Car Finder Connected Plug-in Hybrid Charge Management Services:
      Start or stop charging Set-up charging schedule with days of the week and time Current battery level with real-time electric and fuel range Real-time fuel range Plug status (in/out) Charge status Time left until fully charged SONATA PLUG-IN AVAILABILITY AND TAX CREDITS
      The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be distributed in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, but customers in any of the other states can custom order the vehicle at their local Hyundai dealer. Sonata Plug-in Hybrid buyers are currently eligible for a $4,919 federal tax credit. These tax credits reduce the amount of federal tax the purchaser is liable for, making them much more valuable+ than tax deductions. In addition, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for HOV-lane access in certain states.
    • By William Maley
      January is usually not a strong month for car sales as it just after the holidays and people don't have the money to buy a new car. This is reflected in our January sales figure ticker where most automakers post small increases and decreases. There were some automakers that posted some surprising numbers. Nissan reported a 10 percent increase and Toyota noted an impressive 16.8 percent rise. The two automakers credit their utility as a key reason for the rise. But Bloomberg reports there is another reason for these rises.
      Pulling data from Cox Automotive, Bloomberg found out that fleet deliveries for the month rose 46 percent for Nissan and 69 percent for Toyota. Most of the sales came from rental car companies. 
      “If you want to claim 10 percent market share, that’s a way to do it. The danger is that you create a large number of late-model used cars that will compete with your new cars and bring down prices and profits,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto industry consultant.
      A number of automakers have been turning away from fleet sales for this very reason. GM which has been a poster child for fleet sales has been cutting back.
      Toyota spokeswoman Amanda Roark told Bloomberg that fleet deliveries will be lower during the second half of this year and will likely make up "about 10 percent of its total U.S. sales in 2018." Judy Wheeler, Nissan vice president of U.S. sales explained the increase in fleet sales was due to them clearing out 2017 models to make way for 2018 models.
      “It’s really just a timing situation for us,” she said.
      It needs to be noted that Nissan has been increasing their sales to fleets within the past year.
      Source: Bloomberg

      View full article
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