Car news

10 March 2014

All-new Hyundai Sonata on its way

Hyundai previews its next-generation luxury sedan with a couple of sketches; global reveal later this month

Amaan Ahmed
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The Hyundai Sonata doesn't really feel long in the tooth, partly because it was only relaunched in India a little over two years ago, and partly because it still looks the business. However, it's easy to miss the fact that the current Sonata, in its sixth-generation, has been around since 2009. A fair amount of time has passed since, and now, Hyundai thinks, is the time to roll out the all-new Sonata.

The sketches that you see on this page preview the seventh-generation Sonata that will debut in Korea towards the end of this month. Yes, the 'Fluidic Sculpture' philosophy is at work here too, only this is Chapter 2.0. What that means is that though the new Sonata will retain the smooth, flowy design flourishes as seen on the Hyundais of today, it will sport an "easy-to-understand and pleasant design", part of which will be the Hyundai hexagon grille and "rich visuotactile colour", whatever that is.

It's more 'evolution' than 'revolution', this upcoming Sonata, and its mantra is 'Inner Force', stressing importance on how Hyundai has focused on perfecting every little detail about the car, right from the intuitive positioning of switches, enhancing the feel and quality of the materials used on the inside, to improving seat cushioning for added comfort.

The Sonata uses a lot more of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), which, according to Hyundai, is twice as tough as regular steel, but is about 10 per cent lighter. The new Sonata will be 51 per cent AHSS, compared to the current car's 21, so you know that it will not only perform a whole lot better at the crash tests, but it will also be lighter, translating to stronger performance and improved economy. To see just how well it performs, Hyundai even took it to California's Mojave Proving Ground, and to Captain Slow's worst nightmare, the Nürburgring.

Economy brings us on to the engines. There is not much wrong with the current 2.4-litre GDi petrol, so that should stay, but what we're really interested to see is if Hyundai will finally plonk that much-needed diesel into the hood of its D-segment fighter for the Indian market. Hyundai can use a 1.7-litre CRDi making 134bhp, or, if it can cram it in, the 2.2-litre, 194bhp, 436Nm powerhouse from the Santa Fe.

Hyundai promises that the seventh-gen Sonata will provide value "beyond customers’ expectations" (lots of kit for not a lot of money, that is), and says that the car will reach most markets by the end of 2014. That will be then, but we'll have more details as the month wears on. Stick around for the action, dotcommers.

Tags: sonata, hyundai

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