UPDATE: the 2015 Sonata has been spied without camouflage. See it here.
Already, the carmaker has confirmed an Australian debut for the new Sonata, and we can expect it in local showrooms in the second half of 2014.
This new Sonata will be even more refined than the i40, Hyundai says, suggesting it could usurp the i40's place as the more premium model in the Australian range.
Will it replace the i40 in Australia all-together? Speaking with TMR today, Hyundai Australia's Guido Schenken said that remains to be seen.
"We're still reviewing the case for both models at this point," Mr Schenken said. "Obviously the i40 has the advantage of being available in Tourer wagon form as well, and there's also the fact that it's available with a diesel engine".
The current i45 was not offered with a diesel engine, thanks largely to its development and production being focused on markets with little love for diesels.
In Korea and the US, Hyundai instead offered the petrol-electric Sonata Hybrid, although this model's exclusive left-hand-drive production kept it from being considered for Australia.
Mr Schenken said that at this point, it is unclear if the new model will be offered with a diesel, as a hybrid model would again be likely.
He could not confirm if the next hybrid model would be offered here (where it would compete with Toyota's Camry Hybrid), noting that it is too early to know full details of the Australian model range.
Mr Schenken did confirm however that the Australian models would be sourced from South Korea, putting to rest speculation that supply could switch to Turkey.
Today’s teaser offers a first look at that new Sonata, although you won’t see it in Geneva this week.
Hyundai says the new model will make its global debut at the New York Auto Show in April - a nod to the current model’s huge success in the US - although an earlier preview will occur in South Korea later this month.
The shadowy photo released today reveals an evolution of the current model’s look, while introducing a bolder style with more presence than its swooping predecessor.
There’s a broad Genesis-like grille up front, a longer stepped headlight design and that familiar chrome garnish dividing the bonnet and front quarter panel.
The outgoing model’s four-door-coupe roofline will continue with the new Sonata/i45, terminating in a short rear deck.
It is understood that the new Sonata will be larger than the outgoing model, while also riding on a longer wheelbase - the latter ensuring greater interior space.
The new midsizer’s interior is still to be revealed, but Hyundai promises “a stable feeling with tailored design specifications for all materials, and a master craftsmanship-level finish”.
The new Sonata will also benefit from a higher use of Advanced-High Strength Steel, up from 21 percent in the old model to 51 percent in the new 2015 sedan. Structure adhesives are also increased ten-fold, and Hyundai says that all of this has ensured a 40 percent improvement in torsional rigidity.
“Since the first Sonata was introduced in 1985, Hyundai Motor’s symbolic midsize sedan has contributed hugely to the company’s rapid growth and brand enhancement,” Hyundai's Jeong Gil Park said.
“The all-new Sonata has evolved again, based on Hyundai Motor’s world-class technologies, and it will play an important role in further facilitating our shift from quantitative growth to qualitative growth.”
The company is also confident of a positive result with the controversial ‘Small Overlap’ test performed during crash tests with the IIHS - America’s equivalent to the local ANCAP program.
Watch for more details on the new Sonata's Australian specifications to appear in the coming months.
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