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The sixth-generation Hyundai Sonata helped usher in a stylish era for the previously boring midsize sedan segment. After four years on the market, though, some of the Sonata's rivals are newer and arguably more stylish, so it's not surprising that Hyundai appears to be in the early phases of a redesign for its popular sedan.

From what we can see in these spy shots, the overall shape of the Sonata will remain the same – note the roofline and side body creases – but big changes seem to be in store for the rest of the car. If that's the real grille we see in these shots, it has grown in size and is more upright compared to today's Sonata, and it matches the six-sided design found on other current Hyundai models. Another interesting thing we notice at the front of this car is what appears to be a radar mounted behind the grille, which would suggest an adaptive cruise control system could be offered on this car. Our shooter adds that this particular car had LED headlights and taillights.

These observations would all match up with reports we heard a few months back that stated the next Sonata will get more of an evolutionary change as opposed to anything drastic. We'll take that to mean the rollcage and Recaro racing seats seen on this prototype will not be offered on the next Sonata...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Fluidic Sculpture got dated very fast.
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        That's personal opinion, at the same time it really pushed their brand up with with the top selling brands on the US market! People now respect and accept Hyundai as an equal and other manufacturers generally fear them in each and every segment.
          ChrisJC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @graphikzking
          Says who? What do you drive out of curiosity?
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I still think they look good. especially with some of the other players in the segment still having rather conservative styling.
      ChrisJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai at the Ring, lol. Well they steal all of their designs, and designers, from Germany, might as well test the car there, too.
        Billy Farmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChrisJC
        even if they did, who really cares. You show me 2 automakers who don't have similar looking cars. Designers would have to make a car triangle shape to look unlike every other car on the road or put no flare into their cars like Toyota does
        futuramautoblog
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChrisJC
        Grow up, Child!
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChrisJC
        Well, the Sonata does look better than the E class. I don't mind if they improved upon an aging design.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's hope this one doesn't have rusting issues like its predecessor, I mean, it's only 2013, rusting is still a huge issue with modern cars....
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        I'm glad the crappy Volkswagens don't have to worry about rust because of their short two year life span. Cars that last 15-20 years - like Sonata and Accord - need better rust protection.
      thomas.leopard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Front end reminds me of mazda 6... at least hyundai knows where to copy from.
      marv.shocker
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does anyone else see a Ford Fusion?Seriously...
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      Autoblog, this was also spied testing ON the ring. Weird that you don't have those pictures.... I hope that Hyundai is trying to really nail down the dynamics of the next generation Sonata.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Upright grill is always good in my book!
      bookemd
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sorry but right now in terms of exterior design the Mazda 6 has that award hands down. Currently number 2 for me would be the Optima. I always hated the design the the sonata, too much going on. This one looks to get styling cues from the Azera.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Erik M.
      • 1 Year Ago
      So whats up with the Recaro seats??? Performance version?!?!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Erik M.
        [blocked]
      CCR
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why is it that Autoblog writers do not remember previous articles pertaining to the same topic? The Sonata is NOT in the early stages of a redesign, it is 3/4 ready. You pointed out in a July 2012 article that the "Fluidic Precision" Sonata was recently frozen for 2014 production. Obviously 6+ months prior, the basic Sonata design was completed in late 2011/early 2012. That is the midpoint of the development phase. The "early phases" of this redesign's work would be back in 2010-2011. I only stress this accuracy, so that general readers will easily grasp and understand the vehicle development processes of automotive corporations.
      Ryth
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like Peter Schreyer might have had some hand in this. Looks like an Audi and Optima combined and since he's been moved over to the Hyundai brand (happened a while back) he could have had some input on this even before the move.
        CCR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryth
        The next Sonata design (above) was frozen in July 2012, so Peter Schreyer did not have a hand in it. He wasn't working at Hyundai Design until May 2013. Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/07/20/hyundai-working-on-fluidic-precision-design-for-next-sonata/ http://blog.caranddriver.com/kia-president-peter-schreyer-to-oversee-global-design-for-kia-and-hyundai/
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