It was around three-and-a half-years ago when designers at Hyundai commenced work on the so-called Fluidic Sculpture, which is described as a consistent, cohesive design language. During the development of the initial Sonata sketches, designers at Hyundai wanted to create an impression of constant motion, leading them to weigh on the interplay of natural, fluid elements with more rigid surfaces and structures.
Essentially, Fluidic Sculpture is the infusion of dynamic angles and sophistication into the form of a Hyundai vehicle – now serving as the core of the brand’s future design identity. Applied on the new Sonata, Fluidic Sculpture gives the car a long, low and light exterior.
For instance, the car features a high beltline that creates a long yet sleek roofline. The Sonata also features flowing lines accentuated by a Hyundai signature chrome accent spanning its entire length -- from the headlamps, along the hood and through the beltline -- instead of just around the windows.
Moreover, the new Sonata features a bold front end marked by a large powerful chrome grille and headlamps with precision in its details. The overall exterior looks of the new Sonata are accentuated by 16-, 17- or 18-inch multi-spoke wheels.
For drivers wanting a sportier ride and handling dynamics, they could opt for the Sonata SE, which features sport-tuned suspension with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars. These elements lead to a 20-percent improvement in roll stiffness.
Moreover, the model comes with distinct SE dampers that include monotube shocks in the rear for controlling the suspension, as well as 18-inch tires. On the other hand, the new Sonata boasts of a world-class power-to-weight ratio that helps the full-sized car deliver a good balance between performance and fuel economy.
While the new 2011 Sonata is around 25- and 19-percent stiffer in torsion and bending rigidity, respectively, than its predecessor, it is lighter than a number of midsize sedans and is more spacious inside. All models come with column-mounted, motor-driven electric power steering that is not only more responsive but also more fuel efficient than a conventional steering system.
This system features a quick-ratio steering rack for a sharper turn-in and allows the Sonata to have a turning diameter of 35.8 feet.