• Sep 1st 2009 at 10:38AM
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2010 Hyundai Sonata -- Click above for image gallery

Hyundai isn't happy about it, but the 2010 Hyundai Sonata has been caught in the Internet's voracious maw eight days before its official launch in South Korea. Hyundai then released designer's sketches of the new car... but the pics of the actual car are better because they're the realness.

Apparently caught during an ad or photo shoot, it's immediately clear that this Sonata is – as with every recent Hyundai – a break from the current competent but safe-as-houses Sonata. That long nose and greenhouse, the hood ridges, the bevels, swoops, and that serious gash down the side of the car are not the Hyundai of old. From what we can tell, it looks quite expressive and it doesn't appear to be a bad looking car, but we'll wait for next week's launch to get definitive.

You can have a look at the pics in the gallery below, but we will leave the dissection of its design to you in the comments section. Hat tip to everybody and their mothers!

Hyundai has released an official press release (available after the jump) and a pair of renderings available in the gallery below.

[Source: Bobaedream (translated) via Carscoop]


Hyundai Motor Begins to Take Pre-launch Orders for YF (Sonata)

(Sept. 1, 2009) Hyundai Motor Company is ready to start taking orders tomorrow for its all-new Sonata, codenamed YF, ahead of the car's official launch Sept 10th in the Korea domestic market. In replacing the NF Sonata which was launched in Sept. 2004, Hyundai decided to retain the Sonata name as the mid-size car has been Korea's perennial best-seller.

The new Sonata is fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission and delivers gratifying performance through its 2-liter Theta II gasoline engine. Delivering 12.8 kilometers per liter, it achieves the highest fuel economy in its segment. In addition, safety has been upgraded with Vehicle Dynamic Control now supplied as a standard feature.

*VDC : Improves the safety of a vehicle's stability by detecting and minimizing skids.

The overall comfort has been enhanced through a variety of new technologies and premium specifications such as a panoramic sunroof, gear shift paddles attached to the steering wheel, and a push-button starting system.

The rendering preview features coupe like body style and exudes a dynamic image. The front side communicates an image of strength through a wide radiator grill and sharp-edged headlamp.

The flowing coupe-like lines of the new Sonata eloquently express Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design language, a new design direction that will play a pivotal role in enhancing the brand. Hyundai is confident that the new Sonata, equipped with the company's latest technologies, will continue the long string of successes earned by Sonata over the years.

Since the launch of the very first generation Sonata in October 1985 in Korea, 4.45 million units of Sonata have been sold worldwide. In 2004, Sonata earned the highest ranking in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Survey in the Entry Midsize Car category.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Want 3 global OEMs to benchmark against:
      - VW
      - Toyota
      - and Hyundai.


      • 5 Years Ago
      Hyundai is drinking everyones milkshake. As far as I can tell this is the sort of thing that brings WIN to us all. I wouldn't say they built a better E though, I think I took note of them when the Genesis Coupe was being drawn up.... I thought they were finally making the cars that people want, not the cars that people settle for.
      • 5 Years Ago
      [[Slow clap]]

      Wow...so Hyundai stylists proved they, too, can style a Mercedes CLS from the front and side. Throw in the "robot frown" tail off the latest Audis and you're there!

      Tracing paper must be cheaper in Korea.

      That said, it is nice-looking in these photos. But I seriously wonder if it's as anodyne to drive as the current model. If it isn't, then great. But I don't hold high hopes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Were you this vocal about VW CC when it came out? I see more "copying" in CC than the Sonata. Why such derogatory remarks about Hyundai? Are you one of those people who like to make fun of under dogs? Or just when they start to get better than you?
        If Hyundai designed a 20 grand car that make people like you to start making comparison to a 70 grand Mercedes, I think they did their job.
        Anyway who died in Mercedes legal department and gave you the job to represent them? I don't see MB sending their lawyers to review the design.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You make me laugh. All you couch designers need to keep your voice down if you are unsure of your knowledge.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow.. I didn't know this thread went this far...

        So.. Inline6.. are you asking Hyundai is to create a segment buster or original design?

        I will touch up on couple subjects...

        Let me touch up on the segment buster idea for a little first..with Mercedes Benz you admire so much (I actually do as well... but that's a different story) Let's start with the new GLK. Small preimum SUV (that is so ugly).. so this must be a 'blatant' copy of BMW X3 according to your logic. Since MB was not the first one to create this market, it simply 'copied' its rival BMW! Correct? What about the first generation M class? Certainly MB was not the first one to create SUV in the world.. so that must be a copy as well. the new 7 seater GL.. hmm.. is this a copy of Chevy Suburban????? Gosh.. MB is such a follower.....

        Now.. little about the sloping roofline...

        While CLS is one of the first to be called '4 door coupe' in terms of marketing, sedans with sloping roof did exist before. C5 Audi A6 comes to my mind among many. All CLS did was lower the roof even more making a shallow DLO.

        While sloping roofline might resemble CLS, or more closely C5 and C6 Audi A6, in terms of vehicle packaging, I believe Sonata will be nothing like CLS. Sonata is a mainstream, company's bread-and-butter mid-size sedan. For a vehicle with that importance, you cannot have NO-headroom back seat that can only seat 4 people. Also ingress and egress cannot be as horrible as CLS since it has to appeal to very broad audience.

        So.. my point here is while the concept of Sonata probably was to create an extrovert, unique 4 door mid-size sedan along its claimed 'fluidic sculpture' design language with a roofline closer to coupe than sedan, that stands out from the sea of ho-hum family sedans, it never was 'create cheap CLS'. (which is is NOT)

        You also complained about design language Hyundai never had..... well, I cannot argue much there since that is somewhat true. However, it almost seems they didnt want to have any like many other Asian companies. Back then, it did not matter either as well. (starting around mid 80's when Hyundai first came to US) No press was talking about design. Nobody bought the car because of the design. (with exception of only few) General public didnt care too much about design, because they didnt know any better!!! The whole design revolution started sometime mid-late 90's to early 2000 (in US at least)

        Hyundai did have something going on with HCD-1 to HCD-3 and first generation Tiburon and third generation Sonata. Go take a look at the first Gen Tiburon. and... go see Infiniti, BMW, Audis of today.. what do you see? Sharp headlights, sharp taillights, swooping light seal line (light catcher!) voluptuous front fenders.. ete etc... many themes of today's cars are all there! Quite original don't you agree?

        Hyundai is starting to have its own design language. I did not have it before. You are right on that. However, creating a quite unique looking, out-of-ordinary design (with sloping roof) for a bread-and-butter midsize sedan is quite original. New to otherwise boring segment that no one takes risk of. (CC is not VW's bread and butter. Jetta and Passat are) That's where the credit might due.. for this generation.

        I cannot believe I typed this much.. but my final point is, car design and producing a car to the market is more than just looking at the photo and being a couch critic. It is actually very complicated than you might imagine. If you are looking for blatant copy, just go look at some chinese cars that actually do BLATANT copy.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow...shoot down my argument with an ad hominem. Thanks for that. Too bad for you that it's nowhere near accurate.

        FYI, I'm not really a BMW fan other than the fact that they use inline-6 engines. The 1-Series is kinda cool, but way overpiced. Everything else in their line just doesn't do much for me. And even if I were a BMW fan, I wouldn't have much room to talk, what with BMW doing the "four-door coupe" thing, too.

        Nah, I call myself "inline6" because I'm a fan of the type of engine, whether it's in a current BMW, an '08 TrailBlazer, an AMC Eagle, or a Triumph TR6.

        But, you know, thanks for playing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        From your name I'm guessing you are a BMW fan? Are you jealous because Sonata is "copying" MB rather than BMW? I think Azera has a "bangle butt" so don't get all worked up, they didn't forget about your bimmer.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Not only was that another ad hominem, but it's also wrong. '08 Saturn Astra here.

        But, you know, thanks for playing again. If you want to address the actual argument, feel free.

        By your screen name, I can deduce that you've been writing with your head up your ass, since that's where the Porsche puts the 911's engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't comment much on "this looks x car's headlights on y car's front fenders with a little bit of z brand's look at the rear". I'm fine with cars looking somewhat alike.

        This car is a blatant copy of the Mercedes CLS. Which would be fine...I mean, Mercedes has set trends in automotive design, and other OEMs have been cribbing them since the '50s.

        Thing is, I'd respect it more if Hyundai actually set a styling trend or two themselves. If they had any styling tradition at all. If they ever did anything revolutionary. They simply lurch from one styling trend to the next, with no continuity, no congruency.

        In '02, it was the Jag S-Type Sonata. Now it's the Mercedes CLS Sonata. Excuse me if I don't feel the need to change my pants after seeing ANOTHER car with a sloping roof, slim DLO, and rising belt line.

        It's not like it's harder or takes more skill to style a CLS-type car than it is a Camry. And I do agree that it's bold of Hyundai to go this route. It'll get them attention, certainly, in a segment in which even distinctively-styled cars tend to get lost (Galant anyone?).

        So while this Sonata looks good, it's not because it's a Hyundai. It's because Hyundai stylists have seen a Mercedes CLS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Now I'm guessing you are a college student who just finished a course on logic or perhaps even a budding philosophy major at a minor state college.
        As you have guessed I do own a Porsche among others.. including CLS. I suppose this Sonata has four wheels and doors like the CLS.
        I happen to think this Sonata is a bold design that appears to be a natural progression from the current one. You will get an ad hominem argument when your argument is based on it.

        When I think about an original design, '08 Astra is on the top of my list
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wrong again about the age, the occupation, the major. Wow.

        And again with the ad hominem! You OWN a CLS!! You should KNOW whether or not the Sonata apes its styling! Evidently, you don't.

        The shape of the headlights, grille, and lower air intake are each roughly the same shape as the CLS's, and have a similar relationship to each other. The Sonata simply looks like a 5-year-newer version that's been given the Joan Rivers treatment.

        And stop the presses!! You're right about the profile! What was I thinking?!?! Benz connects the side feature line to the wheelarches, while Hyundai starts theirs lower! Vive la différence! Such originality! Oh, and the CLS has a 4-window DLO, while the Sonata's is a 6-window style. Think those quarter windows are really windows? I hope so.

        But if they're black plastic triangles, you're right! There would be a carryover design feature between the current model and this one!

        I could argue that since you own a CLS, you're just in denial because you can't accept that hundreds of thousands of people will soon be driving around in a car that looks like a modernized version of yours, at 1/3rd the price.

        And my Astra may not be the pinnacle of design originality, but at least it falls along an established design continuum and isn't a blatant copy of someone else's car. And it looks different enough on American roads to turn heads.

        I really don't see how the Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 Sonatas have much of anything to do with each other stylistically. Care to point out the cues you think link them all?
      • 5 Years Ago
      the car got some pretty good overall impression, just hope they don't use some cheap plastic that u can only inspect upon close.
      • 5 Years Ago
      hyundai sold more 60,000 cars and suvs last month , if they have this Sonata now ,sales number would be easy to reach 70,000.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not a bad looking car at all! I actually think the Passat CC is its closest competitor. If this thing was RWD and was available with the 2.0T in the Genesis coupe...this would DEFINITELY be on top of my "affordable" family sedan consideration list..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda & Toyota better watch out! If this design stays through manufacturing, the days of bland family midsize sedans is over.

      This is a REAL Camry/Accord killer! Love the design!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is there a reason no one ever mentions the Altima at times like this? There are more mid-size sedans than the Accord and Camry, lol!
      • 5 Years Ago
      the chrome window strip runs all the way to the front headlights. why? why mess up such an awesome design with a silly decision like that? maybe i'm the only one, though. does anyone actually think it will look better with the extended chrome strip than without??
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did they just trace over a VW Passat CC? It looks EXACTLY the same from the profile and the back is similar too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it looks JUST LIKE THIS, then Hyundai is on a roll. If this is a concept that will be straightened out, then boo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think what we see here is what we're going to get. This isn't a concept - it's the real thing. If there are ANY changes at all, they will be to very minor details.. I'm sure we're going to see this car in showrooms very soon - too soon to make any major changes.. Hyundai is really on a roll lately.. They're certainly in the game these days.. I sat in the Equus last week - and it's as impressive as any S-Class, LS460 or 7-Series I've ever been in...

        Sal Collaziano
        • 5 Years Ago
        new kia forte koup commercial...it looks great

        click on "video" to see the commercial

        • 5 Years Ago
        Sadly, the E-Klasse wishes it could look that good
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nice E Class. Oh wait...
      • 5 Years Ago
      holy crap, looks awesome!
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