Hyundai will be bringing the next-generation Sonata to the New York International Auto Show next month but the automaker’s home market show got a jump on the Big Apple this week with the debut of the Sonata 1.6 Turbo model.
Expected to be one of the more important launches of the year, the 2020 remake adopts a much bolder look than the current Sonata, with a more coupe-like silhouette and the new “Parametric Jewel” grille intended to accentuate the car’s width and refinement.
Separately, Hyundai is showing off its new Veloster N performance model with a heavily modified version of the hatchback featuring 45 different customizable parts, including lightweight forged wheels and a high-performance suspension system.
When Hyundai first began teasing the new Sonata early this month, Sang Yup Lee, the brand’s global design chief, pointed out its “short overhang, sloping roofline and low deck lid (which) create a balanced feel, and Hyundai’s signature chrome accent now goes all the way into the hood, making it look even longer.”
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Perhaps the most significant visual detail on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata comes in the form of the LED running lights that merge into those accent strips. They are all but invisible when turned off, as they hide beneath what otherwise appears to be just another piece of chrome.
Not all the design tweaks are cosmetic. Hyundai points to the “wing-shaped rear spoiler that aids stability at higher speeds.” The back end of the new Sonata is competed with an exclusive rear bumper, and twin-tip exhaust mufflers
If you get a sense of déjà vu from the new Sonata, go back and check out the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept that the automaker brought to the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. You’ll see a number of critical similarities, though the production Sonata clearly doesn’t push things quite so far to the extreme.
In terms of dimensions, the new Sonata sits 30 mm, or 1.2 inches, lower while its width grows 25 mm, or almost precisely an inch. Its wheelbase is enlarged by 35 mm, and its whole length by 45 mm, or 1.4 inches and 1.8 inches, respectively.
Inside, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata adopts a much more upscale feel, almost looking like it could have been borrowed from sibling brand Genesis.
(Click Here for more about the remake of the 2020 Sonata.)
The Seoul preview focuses on the local market’s 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four which will have an optional eight-speed automatic available. But Hyundai officials also confirmed the availability of a 2.5-liter gas engine for the American market.
Hyundai is planning to add both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the eighth-generation Sonata, as well, though it hasn’t confirmed what electrified versions will be available in which market.
The Sonata has long been a key model in the Hyundai line-up and though the Korean carmaker has been putting more of a premium on utility vehicles lately, the sedan remains a critical part of the Hyundai family.
Hyundai’s strategy is to continue broadening its line-up and that includes pushing further into performance territory with its new N Line. Taking a tip from brands like BMW, the Korean brand will not only offer performance variants, such as the Veloster N, but also will be adding an array of customizable parts. That’s illustrated by the car on the automaker’s Seoul Motor Show stand.
“The ‘N Performance’ car on display in Seoul is equipped with 45 customizable parts,” Hyundai said in a statement. “These include 14 driving performance parts, including lightweight forged wheels, larger brake calipers and brake pads, a high-performance suspension system, and high-performance tires. 11 exterior style parts are also fitted, including a real carbon fiber side-skirt, diffuser and rear wing spoiler.”
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Inside, the Veloster N features still more custom features, including Alcantara and “real” carbon fire accents.