Hyundai has officially unveiled the 2015 Sonata luxury sedan, its flagship car, at its home market of South Korea. The 2015 Sonata features a major stylistic revamp and also comes with significant improvements under the skin although it uses the same platform as that of the pre-facelift model. The global premiere of the 2015 Sonata will happen at next month’s New York Motor Show. India is likely to get the facelifted Sonata sometime next year.
A bummer from the Indian perspective: Hyundai isn’t adding a diesel engine to the 2015 Sonata just as yet given the fact that the facelifted model uses the pre-facelift version’s platform, one that is clearly not configured to support a diesel motor. Pre-orders for the 2015 Sonata have already been opened in South Korea with the car notching up over 10,000 pre-orders even before its official unveil earlier today.
Hyundai has big ambitions for the 2015 Sonata, with the car maker aiming to sell no less than 228,000 units of the car this year, with the number projected to go up to 338,000 units next year. In 2016 though, an all-new Sonata luxury sedan, based on a new platform will be released. In that sense, the 2015 Sonata Facelift is a “bridge” model, a car that keeps the hustings busy until an all-new model takes over.
Viewed from that angle, the 2015 Sonata Facelift is quite a dramatic “bridge” car model, considering the host of improvements on it. Talking of improvements, the 2015 Sonata features an all new chassis that is said to be more rigid. Hyundai’s engineers are said to be tasked at improving the ride quality of the car.
Extensive testing at Nurgburgring, a circuit at which Hyundai now has a technical center, was aimed at improving the ride and handling characteristics of the 2015 Sonata. The result is a stiffer body, a new power steering mechanism, and revised front and rear suspension. While a road test will reveal how much the 2015 Sonata has actually improved in terms of ride and handling, the other improvements on the car are more easily discernible as they involve addition of features and creature comforts.
Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning System, hands-free Smart Trunk, driver knee airbag, LED lighting, emergency stop signal, electric parking brake and heated rear seats are the new features on the sedan. The car is built using steel that is 30 % stronger. The 2015 Sonata is larger than the pre-facelift model, with the length increasing by 35 mm, width by 30 mm and the wheelbase by 20 mm.
Apart from the larger dimensions, the 2015 Sonata also gets more richly appointed interiors with a redesigned dashboard that ditches the curves of the Fluidic design for a more edgy, European design. In keeping with its luxury car positioning, the 2015 Sonata is touted to come with improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels while the outside gets a comprehensive revamp with the styling borrowing cues from the Genesis luxury car label.
The 2015 Sonata gets 3 naturally aspirated petrol engines for the South Korean market and 6 speed manual and automatic gearbox options. Powerplant offerings include a 2.0-liter CVVL (166 Bhp-201 Nm), a 2.4-liter GDi (190 Bhp-247 Nm) and a 2.0-liter LPi (149 Bhp-194 Nm) motors. The car starts at 22.55 Million Won (US$ 20,900) in South Korea.