If there’s any company that embodies a success story, it’s Hyundai Motor Co. When the South Korean firm first reached American shores in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it had little to show for it aside from some cheap economy cars that didn’t show a great deal of promise for the brand.
Fast-forward about 20 years, and Hyundai has built its lineup up from one or two vehicles to a whole stable, ranging in price from $14,000 to over $65,000. However, it’s likely that none of that would have been possible without the Sonata midsize sedan, which is a good illustration of just how far the brand has come. Just ahead of it’s formal reveal at the New York Auto Show in April, Hyundai has pulled back the wraps on the newest iteration of the Sonata.
As we can see from the picture above, the new model — slated to be the 2015 model year — eschews the nameplate’s characteristically swooping lines for a more angular and aggressive approach. “The all-new Sonata’s design concept focuses on ‘Inner Force,’ a theme that points to its evolved aesthetic and confident perfection,” the company’s statement said.
The car clearly takes cues from the new Genesis, Hyundai’s large sedan. “The Sonata has been playing a key role in Hyundai Motor’s rapid growth in the global market, as well as leading the development of the Korean auto industry. We are confident that the all-new Sonata will change the landscape of the global mid-size sedan market,” Choong Ho Kim, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor, said during the all-new Sonata launching ceremony in Seoul on Monday. “Hyundai Motor has been pursuing qualitative growth, providing innovative experiences and values to our customers, and the all-new Sonata will be at the center of these efforts,” he added.
Despite its new appearance, the Sonata maintains virtually the same dimensions as the outgoing model, growing just 35 millimeters in length and 30 millimeters in width. However, Hyundai assures that the marginal increases translates into noticeable improvements in cabin space.
Hyundai also says that the driving dynamics and chassis development will be greatly improved over the outgoing model. Paired with its new looks, the company is also promising “comprehensive safety features and high crash performance,” while the inside will benefit from driver-focused convenience features and advanced technologies. Reducing road noise, vibrations, and enhancing driving dynamics were priorities for the Sonata development team, the statement said.
In all, it seems that the Sonata will be improved in many ways beyond its new face. “Significant” changes were made to the front and rear suspension, while steering, braking, and powertrain dynamics have all been tinkered with to offer the best experience possible. It’s a new car through and through.
The new Sonata, at least in the Korean spec that was revealed, will offer a choice of three four-cylinder engines spanning displacements of 2.0 liters to 2.4 liters, and power ranging from 151 to 193. There will be either a six-speed manual, or automatic transmission. Pricing has naturally not yet been disclosed, though it’s likely that the new Sonata will start within a stone’s throw of the current generation’s $21,450 price tag.