NEW YORK - At the New York Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled its 2011 Sonata Hybrid -- the automaker's first hybrid in the U.S. market. 

"The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the new kid on the block, but it's not a follower," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "Its full parallel hybrid configuration and breakthrough lithium polymer batteries offer a new take on traditional hybrid design, while its unique design sets it apart from the mid-size hybrid pack." 

The Hyundai-developed Hybrid Blue Drive architecture is a full parallel hybrid drive system, which can operate on an electric motor, gasoline internal combustion engine and a combination of the two, depending on driving conditions and driver demands. 

Hyundai Hybrid Blue Drive uses lithium polymer battery technology as well as the company's compact new 6-speed transmission, modified with hybrid starter-generator, electric motor and low-friction oil pump. Together, they allow the elimination of the traditional torque converter, Hyundai said. 

Sonata Hybrid's projected highway fuel economy is 39 mpg. City fuel economy is estimated at 37 mpg, Hyundai said.