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Brand New Hyundai Sonata

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Mike Stevens | Sep 22, 2009

SKIPPING THE BUSY Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai opted to give its brand-new sixth generation 2010 Sonata its first public appearance in its South Korean home market last week.

The latest incarnation in a relatively long line, the new Sonata's heavily stylised lines represent a significant step forward for the model - and for the Hyundai brand.

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Designed around Hyundai's new "fluidic sculpture" design language, the Korean carmaker says the new Sonata is as much about technology as it is style.

"The Sonata will set a new standard for world class mid-size sedans with state-of-the-art technology, superior build quality and emotional design," Euisun Chung, Hyundai's Vice Chairman said.

"The new Sonata will raise Hyundai's brand values."

With the Genesis luxury sedan and Genesis Coupe representing the carmaker's top-end offerings in Korea and the US (soon to be joined by the larger Equus saloon), the new Sonata stands as Hyundai's more affordable mid-size sedan entry.

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In Korea (and likely in Australia), the new Sonata will be offered with the 2.0 litre Theta II MPi petrol engine, developing 125kW and 200Nm of torque and returning a fuel economy figure of just 7.8 l/100km - an 11 percent improvement over the current Sonata.

A 2.4 litre Theta II petrol engine will be offered as standard in the US, but if previous Hyundai and Kia models are any indication, this engine is unlikely to be offered to Australian buyers.

Safety was a particular focus in the design of the new Sonata, with the body built from hot-stamped ultra high-strength steel, and a full complement of six airbags featured as standard.

Vehicle Dynamic Control, including Hill-start Assist Control and Brake Assist System are standard features, which Hyundai claims as an industry first in its segment.

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Hyundai expects to sell 450,000 units annually around the world, with some 60,000 of those being in Korea.

No local pricing details have been revealed, but Hyundai Australia says it will launch the new sedan here "in coming months".

Whether the YF sedan will be sold locally with the Sonata badge or a new name isn't clear, but Hyundai Australia spokesman Ben Hershman told TMR that the company's immediate concern is the local debut of the new Santa Fe and ix35.

With the YF Sonata's global debut slated for January's Detroit Motor Show, more concrete details will likely surface around that time.

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