Hyundai’s Sonata-based hybrid coming in Oct. 2010, will get different styling

It’s been reported for some time now that Hyundai is considering a hybrid based on the Sonata sedan. According to Woong-chul Yang, president of r&d for Hyundai-Kia Motors, the Sonata based hybrid is scheduled for sale in the U.S. in 2010.

Yang told Automotive News that Hyundai’s first full-hybrid vehicle will get distinctive styling and may not be called the Sonata when it hits dealerships.

Yang said that the company “may change the name if the exterior is quite different. People who drive a hybrid like to be differentiated.”

The Hyundai Sonata-based vehicle will be powered by a gasoline engine mated to an electric-motor that runs on a lithium-ion battery pack.