While the early Hyundai Sonatas had a formal design language as it was largely presented as an executive sedan, the sixth generation onwards from 2009 saw a transformation of its image with the ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language. From this more advanced look, the Sonata has evolved to become a bigger car too and by the eighth generation, ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language (first previewed in the Le Fil Rouge concept) was adopted.
The eighth generation is still in production, having made its debut in 2019 (October 2020 in Malaysia), and although there are rumours that it will be discontinued, Hyundai Motor has still one more facelift to go through before ending the model line.
The update revealed today for the Sonata – one of its older models – has the sportiest appearance ever. With a long bonnet and wide layout that integrates a Seamless Horizon Lamp in the N-line based front end. The wide-set, hidden headlamps mimic the look on the IONIQ 6 EV though there is a large grille below the bumper line, necessary for radiator cooling.
At the rear, the new H-lights further emphasize the wide stance, while the spoiler-shaped bootlid and muffler-shaped rear garnish give the impression of a high-performance sports sedan.
Inside the more aerodynamic form, there are significant upgrades for an improved passenger experience with the ‘floating’ theme. New interior colour combinations enhance the sense of sportiness and premium character simultaneously.
The highlight is a panoramic curved display which is appearing in a Hyundai model for the first time. This wide panel combines both 12.3-inch driver information clusters and 12.3-inch AVN infotainment system for a modern and simple dashboard layout that emphasizes the horizontal lines and expanded sense of space.
The relocation of the shifter to behind the steering wheel with a column-type shift-by-wire controller creates more space in the centre console area. The centre console is further enhanced by the palm rest that provides more comfort for the driver by extending the armrest to lean up to the palm of the hand.
Powertrain options remain the same with Smartstream petrol engines ranging in size from 1.5 litre to 2 litres, with an LPG version also available for some markets. There’s also a plug-in hybrid powertrain (shown below) with a 192 bhp output and 22.1 kms/litre claimed.
The model will make its debut at the Seoul Mobility Show at the end of the month.