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First look: Hyundai teases all-new Sonata

Body art: Hyundai’s upcoming Sonata features cues taken from the second generation of the car-maker’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design mantra.

Hyundai’s i45 replacement adopts styling cues from larger Genesis sedan

4 Mar 2014

HYUNDAI has offered the first look at the car that will replace the Australian-market i45 sedan later this year.

The all-new Sonata, which hoses down the sharply chiselled design of the i45 for a more alluring, sweeping form, adopts the second version of the Korean car-maker’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design creed to share a similar look to the larger Genesis sedan, also due in Australia in the coming months.

According to the South Korean car-maker, the new Sonata will provide “value beyond customers’ expectations” and offer “a sense of premium quality in every detail”.

A focus for the engineering effort, Hyundai says, was performance and safety.

The mid-size car wears a similar grille to the larger Genesis, but with more of a hexagonal form, running back to recessed headlights. Down the rear, the Sonata carries a four-door coupe-like form with a sharply falling roofline running down to a short boot.

The company says a longer wheelbase compared to the current i45 opens up more space in the heavily revised interior, which is said to include a more intuitive driver interface.

“Switches are grouped by their function, facilitating easier control,” Hyundai says. “In order to minimise distraction, the display screen has been moved up, while indicators on the dashboard have been standardised for intuitive recognition.

“Also, icons on the display screen and dashboard are now consistent.” Hyundai says it has also improved the feel and grip for every component that the driver touches, with seat comfort improved with a more ergonomic cushion design.

The Korean car-maker has followed the trend of incorporating more high-strength steel in the Sonata’s design, helping to reduce weight.

The use of the stronger steel as well as new bonding processes have helped improve the Sonata’s body rigidity by a claimed 40 per cent.

The car-maker says the premium positioning of the Sonata means it will come with seven airbags and “new seatbelt technologies”.

Hyundai Australia says pricing and specifications of the Sonata will be revealed closer to the car’s launch in the second half of this year. The car is slated for its international launch in South Korea later this month.

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