Hyundai Motor has unveiled its innovative and sporty new Sonata, featuring a range of first-in-class technologies and distinctive four-door coupe styling.
The new generation Sonata is the first sedan designed with Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness design language. It is a fully transformed vehicle showcasing a sporty four-door coupe look.
Sensuous Sportiness is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements in vehicle design: proportion, architecture, styling and technology. Sonata has a distinct tension on the side using a harmonious blend of two sharp character lines and pure volumes. Concave and convex forms are also carefully orchestrated to provide a sexy, coupe-like character.
The latest Sonata is the first model to be based on Hyundai Motor’s new innovative vehicle platform, which delivers increased strength and reduced weight to enable improvements in design, safety, efficiency, power and driving performance. The car majors on extensive application of advanced technologies to boost comfort, convenience and active safety. It is also the first model to premiere a new collaboration with Bose to deliver an exceptional audio experience to customers.
“The Sonata holds a special significance for our company as one of the longest standing and most successful models in the global market,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division. “The new generation Sonata is a fully transformed vehicle packed with advanced personalisation technology, a new platform, and an array of ADAS technologies. We are confident that our customers will be pleasantly surprised with this innovative new model.”
Inspired by the dramatic Le Fil Rouge four-door coupe concept shown at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the new generation Sonata is an emotional, sporty, four-door coupe with a spacious and technology-packed interior. The exterior exhibits performance-led proportions that reference the car’s step-up in sportiness over that of its predecessor.
“The new generation Sonata boasts a beautiful, sporty and innovative four-door coupe silhouette,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and head of Hyundai Design Centre. “We are confident that Sonata will prove to be a yet another successful step for our new design language ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ and provide emotional value for the customers.”
A newly-designed ‘Digital Pulse Cascading Grille’ spans the front of the new Sonata, finishing at the innermost points of new combination headlamps that feature a distinctive and innovative new lighting architecture.
A chrome line flows from the wing mirror, right around the side passenger windows and returns to the front of the car by running down the length of the hood and ending at a sharp right angle beneath each headlight. This chrome strip features graduated Daytime Running Lights embedded with Hidden Lighting Lamp.
A first for a Hyundai vehicle, Hidden Lighting Lamp is a chief design innovation that incorporates state-of-the-art lighting technology, forming the Sonata’s light architecture. The Hidden Lighting Lamps appear to be of a chromic material when switched off and become dramatically lit when turned on.
The light architecture was initially revealed through Hyundai’s HDC-1 concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in March of last year. It was created by fleshing out the form of the lamp and transforming it into a powerful design element. Along with the Sensuous Sportiness concept, the light architecture defines the design identity of future Hyundai cars.
The side sections of the Sonata are accentuated by the light architecture, which connects two chromic lines that seamlessly link the windows and daytime running lights. Through these two characteristic lines, the Sonata effuses a flowing and refined charm.
From the side, sleek forms combine with sensual lines to accentuate the car’s sportiness and clear coupe-like silhouette. Eye-catching sporty details include a boot-lip spoiler and black side-skirts along the lower flanks, while the car’s 30mm lower ride height enhances the sporty profile even further. The new model is available with a choice of 16, 17, and 18 inch alloy wheels, each with a design that suggests forward motion even when stationary.
At the rear, a wide horizontal line extends across the centre of the trunk, stretching to the edges of the car. This line is actually a long LED strip that connects each brake-light, creating a striking visual impression at night. The high-tech appearance of the rear is intentionally suggestive of the Sonata’s advanced safety systems and technology-packed interior.
The cabin conforms to a ‘Beautifully Smart’ theme, aligned with the expectations of Sonata customers seeking advanced technologies applied naturally and intuitively. The signature aesthetic of the exterior lighting is echoed inside, with ambient mood lamp featuring across the dashboard and doors.
Spanning the full width of the cabin, the slim dashboard features a first-in-class 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which is customisable to suit different driving modes and preferences. At the centre of the dashboard, a large 10.3-inch HD screen enables occupants to interact easily and safely with the audio-video and navigation (AVN) functions. This screen can also accommodate a split-screen function that allows audio and navigation to be displayed simultaneously.
The instrument panel is rich and modern in the shape of spread wings, inspired by a Stealth aircraft. This shape presents a seemingly levitating effect, and this philosophy carries into the long armrests. The satin chrome accents enhance this effect. Designers compressed the height of the dashboard and HVAC vents as much as possible to emphasise the light-weight feeling, while modern, light fabric colours and leathers provide a fresh and unconstrained ambience for the driver.
At the heart of the AVN system is an exceptional sound system, the first result of a new collaboration between Hyundai and Bose engineers. The Bose Premium sound system is equipped with 12 speakers that synchronise to deliver crisp and rich sounds for a high-quality audio experience. Audio and EQ adjustments are made automatically depending on the vehicle’s speed, while Bose Centerpoint surround technology and Bose SurroundStage signal processing put every occupant at the centre of the audio experience regardless of where they are positioned in the cabin.
Maximising the sense of a spacious interior was a key focus for Hyundai Motor’s designers and engineers. Alongside visual devices that create an impression of greater room, the new Sonata features either a regular or panoramic sunroof that amplifies the light and airy ambience. The comfortable seating builds-on the car’s focus on technology, offering an automatic heating or cooling function based on the output and load of the air conditioning system.
Wherever possible, Hyundai Motor took the opportunity to combine a technological development with visual or space benefit. The new Shift By Wire (SBW) gear selector is a prime example, as the new interface is not only sleek and technologically advanced, but also takes up significantly less space than a traditional gear selector.
PERFORMANCE AND CENTRE
The new Sonata is the first model to utilise Hyundai Motor’s third-generation vehicle platform. Offering significant flexibility for vehicle development across multiple segments, the platform enables dramatic innovations in design, alongside improvements in safety, efficiency, power and driving performance.
The platform delivers a ground-breaking improvement in collision safety through the adoption of a multi-load path structure, ‘Hot Stamping,’ and super-high tensile steel plate. The sophisticated multi-load path structure increases the energy absorbed by the vehicle in a collision, improving safety with minimisation of collision impact delivery into the passenger cabin.
The platform is designed so that the tires move outward during a small overlap collision to maximise customer safety. Such technology inhibits vehicle from spinning and prevents possible secondary collisions.
Customers can choose between two Smartstream petrol powertrains – a 1.6 T-GDI or powerful 2.5 GDI engine – both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi produces 134kW and 264Nm. Meanwhile, the new Smartsteam G2.5 GDi engine with its high efficiency combustion, cooled EGR and optimised ITMS cooling system boasts generous figures of 142kW and 245Nm.
High-speed stability is achieved through clever aerodynamics. The coefficient of drag (Cd) is just 0.27, with a flat underfloor covering and a range of body enhancements – including small fins across each tail light – that keep the car fuel efficient as well as stable.
The new Sonata maximises occupant safety through a range of active and passive safety technologies. Passengers benefit from a comprehensive nine-airbag set-up, while a sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) works to avoid or minimise the impact of collisions.
Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata supports a ‘Digital Key’ function via a dedicated smartphone app. Digital Key utilises Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimetres apart.
Hyundai’s Digital Key can also control selected vehicle systems remotely via their smartphone. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication, users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the alarm and start the engine.
The level of access to different vehicle functions can be tailored to each user, for a defined period. The vehicle owner can pre-set the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when renting the vehicle.
For cases such as using a valet service or visiting a repair shop, where handing over a digital key is not feasible, conventional smart key and card type key are also provided.
Full Head-up Display
With a projected image size of eight inches and super-bright clarity (luminance of more than 10,000 candelas per square meter), the Sonata’s HUD guarantees excellent visibility in different lighting conditions. The HUD can be adjusted in both angle and height to ensure optimum visibility. The HUD supports driving safety by displaying information such as speed, navigation commands, as well as alerts from active safety and driving assistance features.
Walk Away Lock
The walk Away Lock (WAL) feature provides an additional layer of safety to the customers by automatically locking an unlocked vehicle when an owner walks away from the vehicle without locking the door.
DRIVE ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGIES
The new Sonata features a sophisticated driver assistance system that meets ‘Level II’ SAE driving automation classification, as it can steer and brake the car in certain safety-related scenarios, or enhance comfort and convenience for the driver.
A series of safety systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to warn the driver and take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s three radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and five cameras.
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
The 2020 Sonata is fitted with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) which is capable of pedestrian detection, an advanced active safety feature that alerts drivers to emergency situations, and braking autonomously if required. Using front radar and front view camera sensors, FCA operates in three stages. Initially warning the driver visually and acoustically, it assesses the nature of the collision danger and can apply increasing amounts of braking force to avoid a collision or minimise damage when a collision is unavoidable. The system is activated when a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist is sensed in front of the car.
Safety Exit Assist
The Safety Exit Assist helps prevent accidents should a door be opened when another vehicle is approaching from behind. Using the radar, the system detects approaching vehicles and warns the driver when a door without a child lock is opened. When anybody attempts to unlock a child-lock door or the system detects approaching traffic, the vehicle maintains the child lock and issues an audible warning.
Blind-Spot View Monitor
The Blind-Spot View Monitor with the Sonata’s wing mirror-mounted cameras offers the driver an enhanced field of vision. If the driver activates the indicators, an audible signal is emitted and an image of the view from the corresponding wing mirror is displayed in the 12.3-inch display cluster. This also applies to lane-change situations in which a vehicle is detected on the side the turn signal is turned on.
Lane Follow Assist
Lane Follow Assist automatically adjusts steering to help keep the vehicle centred in its lane of travel. LFA can keep the vehicle centred at speeds between 0 and 145 kilometres per hour on both highways and city streets.
Surround View Monitor
The new Sonata uses four cameras to provide the driver with a complete view of the car’s exterior, giving the driver confidence when manoeuvring into or out of spaces thanks to a bird’s eye view of the car.
Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist
Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist detects rear-approaching pedestrians and obstacles with a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors. It is a parking safety system that assists avoidance of collision with rear-approaching pedestrians and obstacles while reversing at low speed. The system judges the risk of collision with rear-approaching pedestrians and obstacles and provides warning and applies emergency brake to further assist with collision-avoidance.
Remote Smart Parking Assist
In a first for its class, the new Sonata offers Remote Smart Parking Assist to help manoeuvre the car in or out of parking spaces, boosting convenience for customers. Before attempting to load small children into car seats, luggage into the trunk, or elderly occupants, the remote parking function can prove particularly useful, bringing the vehicle out of a tight space. The driver simply uses the smart key to drive the car forwards or backward in or out of a parking space.
The next-generation Sonata will launch in Australian in the second half of 2019. Local pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.