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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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