The first official images of the redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata have been released prior to its formal introduction in U.S. trim next month at the New York Auto Show. The image seen here is the domestic-market Sonata, which will be unveiled later this month in Korea. While holding back a number of specifics, the automaker did share the philosophy that guided the development of this critical new sedan as well as several pertinent facts about its packaging.
New Design Philosophy
Visually, the 2015 Sonata is the second Hyundai model to be styled using the new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 language introduced on the all-new Genesis. Hyundai says the design theme used for the process was "Inner Force," and the result was to give the car an even more focused sense of purpose and overall sophistication. The exterior detailing features an edgier fascia with a more prominent hexagonal single-frame grille and bolder LED-infused lighting units up front balanced by what Hyundai describes as a "high-tech, futuristic" rear treatment. Although it's not known whether the new Sonata has a greater overall length than the current model, the wheelbase has been stretched to provide more passenger room.
Inside, the 2015 Sonata will have a cleaner and more user-friendly character with improved layout logic and enhanced tactile qualities for all of the switchgear. In addition to upgraded materials and trim elements, it features redesigned seats that promise even greater comfort.
Emphasis On Safety
The new Sonata will offer seven airbags plus new seatbelt technologies to improve passenger safety. Hyundai did not reveal any information on powertrains for the 2015 Sonata, but it did confirm that the car's core has been fully remade using a far greater percentage of Advanced High-Strength Steel (51 percent compared to the 21 percent in the current car) plus a variety of advanced metal stamping techniques, supplemental reinforcement elements and structural adhesive bonding. As a result, the new Sonata enjoys a 40 percent improvement in torsional and bending stiffness and is expected to earn a "Good" rating on the IIHS small-offset crash testing.
"Since the first Sonata was introduced in 1985, Hyundai Motor's symbolic midsize sedan has contributed hugely to the company's rapid growth and brand enhancement," noted Jeong Gil Park, head of the Hyundai Motor Group's Engineering Design Division. "The all-new Sonata has evolved again, based on Hyundai Motor's world-class technologies, and it will play an important role in further facilitating our shift from quantitative growth to qualitative growth." We'll know more in a few weeks.
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