New Hyundai Sonata will be a little less extroverted

Article by Christian A., on August 15, 2012

The upcoming Hyundai Sonata will have its “fluidic sculpture” design language redesigned and will be “a little less extroverted.” Hyundai CEO John Krafcik said that the flowing lines and expressive angles will be made subtler. “Fluidic precision” is the name of this new design philosophy, hinting that the lines will be more precise and will have more squared off lines that would be sharper.

We don’t know much yet about the powertrains but there probably won’t be any big revisions to its present lineup of four cylinder engines. A new plug-in hybrid from Hyundai is expected, and will most likely carry the Sonata badge.

It’s expected to make its debut in 2013 and is slated to start selling in the middle of 2014. This will use the current Sonata hybrid setup, with the added option of charging the batteries from an external source. The new Sonata will make its debut as a 2015 model and is likely to go on sale by the summer of 2014.

Hyundai has confirmed that its expertise in interior packaging wasn’t a joke – by styling a comfortable, functional and practical cabin for the Sonata. While a sleek roofline usually means lower headroom and less spacious cabin, this wasn’t necessarily true with that of the Hyundai Sonata since it offers 120.2 cubic feet of interior space – more than any of its main rivals.

In fact, the spaciousness of the Hyundai Sonata has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to classify it as a large car. Compared to its rivals like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu -- all classified by EPA as midsize cars – the Sonata is roomier inside, even in terms of cargo space. The Sonata comes with a trunk capacity of 16.4 cu. ft., which is around 9.3 percent and 17.1 percent larger than the Camry and Honda Accord, respectively.

At launch, the new Hyundai will be powered by the carmaker’s new Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine comes with a Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system that helps enhance fuel efficiency while lowering emissions. In fact, the Sonata is the first midsize sedan that features naturally aspirated engine with GDI technology.

This system employs a camshaft-driven, high pressure pump -- operating at pressures of up to 2,175 psi – to allow for shorter and more direct delivery of fuel – a setup that enables fuel blend at the optimum moment, resulting to higher efficiency rate. To increase power, GDI employs an 11.3:1 compression ratio, which is higher than usual.

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