News from 2009 Los Angeles: Hyundai’s 2011 Sonata

The Sonata’s specs are looking promising against its targeted competition. The default engine, a 2.4-liter I-4, returns 35 mpg highway. The interior has gained in every dimension from last year’s version. Boasting of standard features like Bluetooth, stability control, and a six-speaker stereo with MP3 support, the Sonata will still start under $20,000.

“The V-6, in the midsize sedan, will go the way of the dinosaur,” said John Krafcik, president of Hyundai America. Thus, powertrain options consist of four-cylinder engines only, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injection I-4. This one will offer more power than the outgoing 3.3-liter V-6, above 249 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque.

At the 2010 New York auto show in April a hybrid model Sonata will also will be unveiled. The car will use a similar system to what’s been shown in the Elantra LPi hybrid overseas, and will sport lithium polymer batteries.

Montgomery, Alabama will be the place of birth the new Sonata is entering production, and it will be introduced in February.