Welcome to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. We saw the new model unveiled, and here's our reveal video.
Auto-show reveals are always exciting, and the one last night for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata was no exception, as our video (below) shows. The all-new seventh-generation version of the mid-size sedan, built in Alabama, will be on sale this summer, and here's what you can expect.
This new body design is described as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. We've got more patience with this kind of poetic lingo when it really shows on the car, as it does here. The looks are definitely more refined without becoming too aggressive: "the way an award-winning chef refines his recipe over the years," in the words of Chris Chapman, Hyundai Design North America's chief designer. The cleanliness of the new Sonata's design cannot be overstated. Or, put simply, it's "a more planted look," as Chapman described it.
At the official introduction this morning at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, president and CEO Dave Zuchowski called the new sedan "more taut, sophisticated...the next step in a substantial design evolution" and "a great leap forward in Hyundai's engineering capabilities." How do you like it?
What's new for 2015?
Active safety is upgraded for 2015 with a Lane Change Assist package. It determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the lane next to the Sonata and uses an audible alarm to let you know if the lane change is safe. Along with that go lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind spot detection, so you're covered at every angle.
A pair of four-cylinder engines have been revised for better drivability at low RPM: the 2.4-liter 185-horsepower four-cylinder in SE, Limited, and Sport models, and the 2.0-liter turbo, which makes 245 horsepower and is for the Sport 2.0T model. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai explains the continued commitment to four-cylinders only is a way to optimize space and fuel efficiency.
Other tech to appreciate, coming down from the 2015 Genesis to the mid-size class, includes high beam assist, smart cruise control, a more touch-sensitive 8.0-inch navigation touchscreen, Siri Eyes free integration, and a smart trunk that opens if you get anywhere near the trunk with the key fob in hand and wait three seconds.
Good news about color: seven choices will be available. That orange, though, that you see in the video: it's exclusive to the turbo model.
A Blue Link in-vehicle app for Hyundai Assurance car care downloads onto the nav screen so, if you want to, you can schedule your maintenance and service right inside the car. Interesting!
People who ride along will appreciate a height-adjustable passenger's seat, a pair of heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats, plus an optional heated steering wheel. Another inch of rear legroom is added this year, and Hyundai points out that it has so much space inside that the EPA actually classifies the Sonata as a "large car," unique among cars in the mid-size class. Put this together with the new 2015 Genesis, and Hyundai has an ambitious sedan lineup in place.