The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Transcontinental Challenge

Discussion in 'Hyundai' started by xcel, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. paulbates

    paulbates Well-Known Member


    You've got some rain storms in front of you. I know the challenge is done, just want give you eyes ahead on your way home. Not much to do about it unless now is a good time to stop and take a rest.


  2. LadySpirit

    LadySpirit Member


    Congratulations! I wish I was a good hypermiler -- I would go with you on a trip. At least I'm trying with the Prius -- thanks to you. Unfortunately, grannies aren't too good at hypermiling.

    Be safe!

    Luv Yah!

    Mom (LadySpirit)
  3. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Speaking to Wayne on the phone...

    He's driving north on I-95, with the cruise set at 65mph, and it is running on the battery! At interstate speed, it runs about a minute ICE-on and then goes to EV for about 40 seconds.

    So far, with a few adjustments to the CC, he's at 53.5mpg at 65mph. Wayne says his Accord can't come close to this at 65mph, and neither can a Prius at this speed unless it is properly set up and driven by a very compentent driver.

    He's 20.5 miles out, with the cruise on, and he's seeing 54.2mpg on the aFCD.

    Wayne says this is the first time he's driven a car that 'does this right'. The engine charges the battery, with a LOD around 88, and then the engine cuts and it runs EV. With the LiPO battery able to take a fast charge, the car is set up to charge the battery with ICE on and at high LOD and then it the engine switches off and she runs on EV. A high engine load is the most efficient mode possible (per the BMEP), and this is in essence a sort of automated high speed pulse and glide. Hyundai engineers seem to have taken advantage of this narrow range of very high efficiency to run the engine only in this mode, charging the battery to a high SOC while powering the car, and then the ICE shuts down and the car runs on EV with the stored charge. It's works wonderfully.

    Great conditions - 77F, a little overcast, and light tailwind.

    As of now, he's 53.7mpg, with an aFCD reset on the fly at 75.3 miles, he's at 104.5 miles now, headed up I-95. That 53.7 average with the cruise at 65mph, and an approx 10mph quartering tailwind.

    Wayne says this is a very well set up car for highway cruising!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2011
  4. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    One more thing...
    Still on the phone with Wayne...
    He says he worked his butt off to get to 60mpg during the challenge, and he is amazed at the numbers he's seeing just driving steady state. With the cruise on at 65mph on the interstate, practically on autopilot (effortless interstate cruising), he's seeing over 53mpg.
    Driving on the interstate at PSL (or 65mph, whichever is slower), the Sonata Hybrid will bury the Fusion, Camry, and Altima hybrids, and will come close to the numbers a Prius can offer while being a much larger, roomier and more comfortable car. These competitors have the edge in urban and suburban slogging, but the Sonata Hybrid is the one to beat on the interstates.

    Wayne to mom - "Thanks a lot, and I will call you later".
  5. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Well, the spare bed is ready if you decide to pass this way. You'll leave rested and with a full belly.
  6. joesgot4

    joesgot4 Well-Known Member

    i bet its killing wayne to have that cruise control on! wayne, relax and let that cruise control get you home! you have earned a easy trip home! WAYNE, you are a celebrity as far as we are concerned!
    p.s. i will try for 50mpgs on at least a 200 mile trip next wednesday when i head back to work!
  7. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    I'm a little unclear on the Sonata's engine management. Does it have VVT and if so, does it have a MPG plummet like Hondas do when they switch cams?

    Sometimes it's very annoying knowing that going up only 2-5 mph is going to hurt that bad.
  8. infoweightion

    infoweightion Member

    Congratulations Wayne. I have been following this event and it is a neat way to kick off the new year. You kind of have a fan base like a F1, Nascar, WRC drivers have. Sorry, can't use Danica Patrick as an example but maybe along the same line as Travis Pastrana's New Year's jump last year.

    After driving the HSH and GLS, is there noticable wind noise at highway speeds? The HSH is reported to be very aerodynamic. I think a cd of 0.25 or 0.27.

    What is your take on the LRR tires on these cars? Would you put these tires on your Accord?

    Which Sonata would you put in your driveway? GLS/HSH?

    I am looking to replace my 03 Accord next year with one of these or a 2012 EV Prius.
  9. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    Wayne left my dad's place a few min ago with a full belly and hopefully not too much rain ahead of him. Another awesome car :)
  10. SD3_Driver

    SD3_Driver Well-Known Member

    nice job Wayne....!!!!!! wow i'm really amazed by this car... i don't know if i'll be able to buy one this year, but i'm falling in love with it........
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    When leaving the McDonald’s this morning, an individual that had just parked his 11 Sonata Limited next to the Sonata Hybrid was giving it a very good look over. We struck up a conversation and he was down south on vacation from Canada with his wife and children.

    He had nothing but superlatives to say about his Limited and loved the fact his dealership threw in the snow tires on separate rims for his winter time needs. In addition, the ride and comfort provided by the Limited’s feature packed trim level made it a no brainer in his eyes. He loved the rear seat comfort and while his wife was driving, had enjoyed at least one good nap in the back seats during this most recent adventure to the sunshine state.

    Mike Godbout –Director of ICS Courier Services and a road warrior of note himself.
    Mike and his 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited in Georgia.​

    Mike was heading back to the Great White North (Quebec Canada) where he and his family call home.

    This is the kind of thing that Hyundai is providing its customers not just in America but all over the North American Continent!

  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And here is why this Hybrid is so fantastic on the Interstate at a decent rate of speed!

    2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Challenge

    Heavy but moving quickly (65 to 75 mph) traffic on I-95 in GA this afternoon.

    Cruise set at 65 mph for over an hour - 53.8 mpgUS per the aFCD (52.5 mpgUS actual) at 65 mph in “EV Cruise”.​

    I held this for over 120 miles and as I pulled off I-95 onto the I-26 Off-ramp, the Sonata carried a 64 mph average speed and 55.8 mpg per the aFCD after I went back to manual control in order to DWL! Remember that this was in perfect 72 - 77 degree temps with a light tail wind. Knock off 5 to 6% for every 10 degree F drop in temperature.

    Let me know if you want that pic posted but it was extremely blurry.

    Rain on I-26 and still moving fast... For me anyway ;)

    Even with the rain that Paul had said was up ahead (there was an hour + of it actually), the Sonata is still sitting at 53 mpg as I am currently parked and typing away in a Rest Area after a few hours of sleep on I-77 somewhere.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And the answer to yesterday’s Hyundai Trivia Question of the day was?
    A: Construction was completed on May 20, 2005 and both the 11 Sonata and 11 Elantra are being built there. The second part of yesterdays Hyundai Question of the Day was picked off early by our forums members, wasn’t it ;)

    And our last Hyundai Question of the Day honoring the Great State of Georgia is this:

    Q: Which Hyundai is being produced at the Kia/Hyundai plant in West Point Georgia?

    Answer tomorrow unless someone gets it first.

    Good Luck

  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Paul:

    Thank you for all your forecasts over the past week and today’s was enough to clean the car a bit from over 2,500 miles of road grime. It is a good thing I did not have to deal with it like I was during the challenge. That wet run though Texas and parts of LA was tough to put it lightly but fortunately that is all behind us now :)

    Mom, there is not a sweeter mom in the whole world and thank you for looking over my shoulder with sage advice whenever I am on one of these challenge drives! Love you too!

    Jud, your offer is so inviting and god knows I need a good cleanup and rest but it is too far out of my way right now :( I have to be in Ann Arbor tomorrow night so have to get a move on once again… If you ever need a place to stay north of Chicago, my home is always open as it is to most wary road warriors when passing through the Chicago area. And it was great to see your son in the couponing challenge!

    Troy, I had to kill CC as it was just eating me up as you know ;) I lost 1 mph and gained almost 2 mpg’s while DWL and taking care of it myself vs. the CC. Two or three others earlier requested the steady state cruise results so I had to provide it for them over enough lengthy distance to call it a solid number. Very impressive imho too!

    Marc, because the Sonata Hybrid provides a steady engine output shunting excess power to the pack at all times other than when you are really on it does not lose much. Sure you will be pushing air using more gasoline but you are also at some average speed and that average is when the HSH fills that pack and waits for the next opportunity to allow EV Cruise. I was actually baffled by the high LOD readings during the challenge drive and only after opening it up on the Interstate to see what it was trying to do did I understand the strategy.

    In reality, the harder you drive it, the less FE you will receive as pushing more air costs more fuel but its it is the averaging capability that will help the guys that are always 10 over + no matter where they are driving.

    Infoweightion, thanks for following the HSH on this little adventure.

    There is tire noise at higher speeds and it goes up with both pressure and speed. Hyundai made a compromise here for max FE and as with any car, the LRR tires are “sometimes” (in most cases), louder than a non low RRc tire.

    I hope that answered your questions?

    Kacey, thank you so much for the Pizza and it was great to hear your dad loves his own 11 Sonata SE! The small excursion was a great respite from a road weary traveler.

    SD3 Driver, and when it steps up a notch (2 to 3% ascent grades with CC on), you can tell it has some cajone’s when pushed. The 11 Sonata (non-hybrid) pulled a skid pad of over .82 which is extremely respectable for a mid-sized/full sized family sedan at this price point and standard equipment. I hope no one ever takes it out on an Autocross course but if one did, I am sure it would represent the Hyundai brand well. Not saying it will make news at the track by any means but for a family sedan, it does what families the world over need it to do. That is to transport us from A to B in the safest manner possible while providing a decent level of comfort, exceptional value and an interior and exterior appearance that says I want to drive this car again and again vs. other manufacturers products that make us think “Do I really have to drive again” ;)

    Well, I had better hit it again as “I have a long way to go and not much time to get there”. Is there a song that incorporates those lyrics somewhere???

  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And a note from the road… I just crossed into VA and thought it better to grab a few winks at the first Rest Area encountered. Apparently, others had the same idea but well before I did ;)

    VA Rest area at 04:30 AM in the morning…​

  16. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear customer service isn't going out of style.
  17. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    This is just amazing!, automated pulse and glide.. and the Hyundai engineers believe the battery will last many years.

    Whats the mpg at a steady 55mph?

  18. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    IIRC, it's an SUV - the Hyundai Santa Fe or Tucson, that's produced in the Hyundai/Kia plant in West Point, GA.

    Wayne, I'd have loved being part of your record-setting attempt. I'm a seasoned road warrior, having crossed the country at least ten times on road trips myself. Next time, give me more than 12 hours warning, and my wife will understand.

    That high speed P&G would be wonderful to have on my long trips to my astronomy volunteer sites in Bryce Canyon and Chaco Culture National Parks. I hope Hyundai offers it in a direct injection Elantra hybrid in the future.
  19. jjinwi

    jjinwi Member


    Hope you are almost to Ann Arbor, a great town... (went to school at UofM... when they had a REAL football team :) )

    I had a couple of additional questions:

    #1. Are you still maintaining >50mpg at highway speeds. if yes, does this beat all other hybrids you know at "real world highway speeds & conditions"?

    #2. Any other thoughts about the car??? Real world driving observations..

    #3. Have you/do you plan on testing the Kia Optima (the Sonata's cousin)?? I have test driven both (the non- hybrid versions) of the Sonata & the Optima and I prefer the Optima. It is a little sportier and has a few extra features for less money (i.e. cooled seats, nicer cockpit?, UVO...)

    #4. I live in Milwaukee, do you ever make it to cheeseland??? Hope you aren't a bears fan :rolleyes:


  20. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    #1> Both Gen II and Gen II Prius should be in the same range on the highway given those temperatures. @65, my Gen II will give about 55 MPG over the long haul. At 70+ it eeks down to the high 40s.

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