Hyundai may be investing more and more in electric vehicle (EV) production, but it hasn’t forgotten hybrids.
The company has allocated funding for development to begin on a new hybrid automatic transmission and 2.5-litre engine combination, according to a document appearing on Korean site Autospy.
The foundation for this new hybrid drivetrain is Hyundai’s Theta III (aka Smartstream G2.5) turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
In some applications, such as in the Hyundai Sonata N Line, this engine is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Part of the development of the hybrid powertrain however, is a new six-speed automatic transmission designed to allow the successful teaming of the Theta III engine and electric motor.
The transmission is said to be for front-wheel drive applications only, however.
According to the document, Hyundai plans to begin mass production of the powerplant by 2025, and the company has already configured its Hwaseong plant for production.
This coincides with the rumoured release date of the next Hyundai Palisade, which according to Korean outlet ET News, will be available with a 3.5-litre turbo V6 and a 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain.
The document says that 217,000 transmissions and 110,000 Theta III engines have already been secured, hinting that the company is well on its way to meeting its looming mass-production goal.
According to the document, the development of the new powertrain is the result of successful lobbying by union members of the powertrain sector within Hyundai.
“As the labour union transitions into the era of electrification, the labour union secured investment from the company to develop automatic transmissions and Theta 3 T-GDI engines in the front wheels for hybrids to ensure employment stability for union members in the PT sector,” the translated document reads.
Hyundai offers hybrid drivetrains in numerous other products.
A 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, available as part of either a hybrid or plug-in hybrid system, can be found in models ranging from the small Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro all the way up to the large Hyundai Grandeur and Santa Fe and Kia K8 and Sorento, among others.
In larger models, this 1.6-litre engine features a turbocharger.
Additionally, a hybrid powertrain, comprising a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated with a permanent magnet motor, can be found in the Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5 sedans overseas.