Hyundai is set to launch the all-new LF Sonata in August/September, just a couple of months after the arrival of the lookalike Genesis premium sedan.
Both models share the brand’s new and more conservative Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language with its prominent hexagonal grille.
Sonata, which will be positioned just above the i40, gives Hyundai two contenders in the mid-size segment.
Marginally longer and wider than the i45 it replaces, the Sonata is built on a 10mm-longer wheelbase (now 2895mm) and boosts a 41 percent increase in torsional rigidity.
At launch, the sedan will come with either a 2.0-litre petrol turbo or a 2.4-litre normally aspirated engine, tied to a six-speed manual or, surprisingly given Hyundai’s new eight-speed auto, a six-speed automatic.
Hyundai says 51 percent of the new model’s steel will be high-strength.
Equipment levels are rumoured to set a new standard in the class.
The cabin abandons the previous symmetrical dashboard layout in favour or a more driver-oriented design with clear round instruments and a larger central monitor for the entertainment system, and a new navigation system.
Local development of a specific Australian suspension (strut front/multi-link rear) and (now electric) steering tune is now underway and is expected to take full advantage of the LF’s greater body strength.
Hyundai does not want a repeat of the press criticism that followed the launch of the old i45, which was withdrawn from the market in early 2013 and replaced by the i40 sedan and wagon.