Hyundai Unveils New 24-Liter Direct-Injection: Cars and Hyundai Automotive Policies Covers

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Hyundai Unveils New 2.4-Liter Direct-Injection

Hyundai Theta II 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine In the next step towards its bold goal of becoming the fuel-economy leader (Hyundai/Kia is currently third overall behind Toyota and Honda), Hyundai unveiled the direct-injection version of its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which is slated to slide under the hood of the swoopy 2011 Sonata mid-size sedan. Dubbed Theta II GDI and developed over nearly four years at a cost of $147 million, the Korean company’s first DI engine is good for 198 or 200 hp at 6300 rpm and 184 or 186 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm (depending on whether it is exhaling through a dual exhaust or not). Those numbers represent bumps of 23-25 hp and 16-18 lb-ft over the most powerful version of the port-injected 2.4 in the current U.S.-market Sonata. Fuel economy gains are claimed to be in the 5-to-10-percent neighborhood, to an estimated best-in-class 23 mpg city and 35 mpg highway rating; the current Sonata is rated for 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with an automatic transmission. Manual versions return 21/32.

The output figures top those of the four-bangers now banging under the hoods of the Sonata’s competitive set, none of which currently utilize direct injection. The Toyota Camry’s 2.5-liter puts out 179 hp and 171 lb-ft in top spec, the Ford Fusion’s 2.5-liter Duratec is good for 175 hp and 172 lb-ft, and the 2.4-liter EcoTec in the Chevrolet Malibu is rated for 169 hp and 158 lb-ft. The burliest four in the Accord makes 190 hp, but its 162 lb-ft of twist falls much shorter. The 175-hp 2.5-liter in the Nissan Altima comes closest in the latter category, with 180 lb-ft.

The new engine also adds a two-stage variable intake as well as variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust; the previous non-DI version featured variable timing only on the intake side. Injecting fuel directly into the cylinders at as high as 2200 psi also allows the new engine’s compression to be raised from 10.5:1 to a lofty 11.3:1, but it will still run (and make its full horsepower rating, we’re told) on regular fuel. Hyundai says the block is stiffer than before and that a total of more than 10 pounds of weight was saved through various tweaks such as redesigning the crankshaft and the use of a lighter catalytic converter. The company goes on to say that the engine meets California’s ULEV-2 and PZEV standards and that it plans to expand its use to other vehicles in the near future.

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Hyundai Unveils New 2.4-Liter Direct-Injection
Hyundai Unveils New 2.4-Liter Direct-Injection

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