Spied! 2015 Hyundai Sonata Caught Testing in Desert Without Much Camo
When the 2011 Hyundai Sonata arrived, it stirred up the industry. Some automakers like Ford saw it as a wake-up call to re-evaluate the direction they needed to take with styling. Where the model before it was reserved, the 2011 was flamboyant with its "Fluidic Sculpture" design language. It was also the first midsize sedan from a volume automaker to replace its V-6 with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Now, it appears Hyundai is eschewing some of the visual pizzazz of the current car with a more elegant design in the 2015 Sonata, which is being rushed ahead of schedule to maintain segment growth. Spied testing, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be among the first new Hyundai cars to adopt the "Fluidic Precision" evolution after the Santa Fe. Seen testing with a current-generation car, the new Sonata appears to have a more upright grille, subdued LED headlight accents, LED tail lights, and fewer hard lines in the body's sheetmetal. We expect it to adopt some of the cues from the warmly received Hyundai HCD-14 concept car that debuted at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Power will once again come from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine at the top of the range. But seeing as the pictured engine is unidentifiable--though undoubtedly turbocharged--the Korean automaker could be abandoning its 200-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine for the 201-horsepower, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine from the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. After all, with 40 mpg now officially the 30, Hyundai is running very mid-pack with its fuel economy right now, and that small engine could once again propel it to the top of the class. Overall, the focus for the next car will be one of refinement over revolution. Hyundai will make the 2015 Sonata quieter, smoother, and sportier. Hopefully, it will also focus some effort on refining the electric power steering system. Still, we enjoyed driving the Sonata, both in base and hybrid configurations, and now that Hyundai has a strong foothold in the midsize sedan segment, currently fifth in sales through August, we doubt Hyundai would do anything but make its best-selling car even better.
Fiat is debuting a new special paint edition of the 500 at this week's Concorso Italiano, and wow is it shiny.