First Look: 2011 Hyundai Sonata
by KBB.com Editors | September 2, 2009 12:36 PM
Details are still pretty minimal, but Hyundai has released the first official sketches of its all-new and unabashedly high-profile Sonata. The mid-size front-drive sedan, which goes on sale in Korea later this month, has clearly undergone a dramatic restyling, imbuing it with a coupe-like roofline and the same "fluidic sculpture" design language found on the upcoming Tucson crossover that bows in at the Frankfurt Auto Show later this month. Hyundai's best-selling model is scheduled to make its first U.S. appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and hit the showrooms here sometime after that as an early 2011 model. While Hyundai Motor America is understandably hesitant to discuss many of the particulars we'll see in our Sonata, its Korean parent, Hyundai Motors, is a bit more forthcoming about some of the features that will be available on the soon-to-launch domestic version. In addition to what it promises will be a lengthy roster of standards, the home-market Sonata offers higher-trim extras like a panorama glass roof, six-speed automatic transmission with supplemental paddle shifters, and 18-inch alloy wheels, all of which seem to have a pretty good chance of turning up here as well. Engine choices for the new U.S.-spec Sonata are expected to include the latest version of the Theta II 2.4-liter direct-injected inline-four and the equally high-tech 3.5-liter Lambda II V6 as well as an already-confirmed, late-arriving hybrid package that will pair a four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor energized by a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack.