Hyundai Places 2 Engines on Wards 10 Best List
The 2020 Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems list has arrived, with Hyundai claiming two of the spots for the second straight year.
The Smartstream 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine in the new 2020 Hyundai Sonata made the list in its debut model year, while the Kona Electric powertrain repeated its win from a year ago.
“These accolades reinforce Hyundai’s commitment in leading the industry’s most diverse powertrain lineup, and we are excited to continue our product onslaught and powertrain innovations with 13 eco-friendly vehicles in the U.S. by 2022,” said Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s outgoing vice president of product, corporate, and digital planning.
The Smartstream engine is equipped with a unique continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) system, an innovation that maximizes performance and efficiency while cutting emissions. With this engine, the 2020 Sonata makes 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque while achieving a combined fuel-economy rating of 31 mpg.
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“It’s an absolute gem — stout, refined, punchy, a delightful daily driver and it’s the world’s first application of continuously variable valve duration,” Wards Managing Editor Tom Murphy said of the Smartstream.
The powertrain in the Kona Electric provides 258 miles of driving range — the best in its class. Consisting of a 150 kW electric motor and a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery, this powertrain puts out 201 horsepower and gets an estimated 120 combined MPGe.
“As we noted last year for its inaugural win, the Kona’s robust Li-ion pack, liquid-cooled and operating at 356 volts, enables relatively long-distance travel similar to an ICE-powered vehicle and lessens the need to stop and charge,” said Wards Editor Christie Schweinsberg.
Hyundai has made the Wards 10 Best Engines list a dozen times since 2009, including honors for the Kona Electric and the NEXO Fuel Cell in 2019.
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A longtime editor/writer and recently transplanted Hoosier, Caleb Cook lives in Xenia, Ohio. His favorite activities are reading and listening to music, although he occasionally emerges from the heap of books and vinyl records in his basement to stand blinking in the sunlight. Once fully acclimated to the outside world again, he can be observed hanging out with his wife, attempting a new recipe in the kitchen, attending movies, walking the dog, or wandering into a local brewery to inquire about what’s on tap. See more articles by Caleb.