Last year, during the middle of April, the new Sonata was unveiled at the New York Auto Show. If Jacob Javits Convention Centre in the city centre then played host to latest cars from leading manufactures across the world, this year, during the same time, it became a COVID hospital with 2,500 beds. For the first time in the history of the century-old auto show, it was initially postponed and then cancelled.
Hyundai is the hero
When Hyundai held the global unveiling and media preview of its compact SUV Venue at Goa, the Korean carmaker took the wraps of the Venue in New York too. The same car that was made for India was showcased in the US too with the same set of features. Apart from the Venue, which mainly targets the youth, Hyundai also unveiled its all-new Sonata at the same function.
Hyundai has carried over just the name, the rest are all new; even the design language is brand new. Radical will be an understatement; every nook and cranny is a mix of design cues that are new and radical. One of the most popular cars in the US, the new look is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The low-slung front has a unique cross-hole grille and the chrome strips on the hood are in fact extensions of the LED headlamps. Though chrome has been used in a limited way, to cater to the love of Americans for chrome, the side and ready body trim is highlighted by a chrome strip.
Does the new Sonata look like a Lamborghini? If low-slung stance and a coupe-like roofline remind you of a Lamborghini, a performance Audi or a Bentley, don't be surprised. Those who were behind the design of those cars are now working in the Hyundai design studio. The Sonata has followed Hyundai's latest Sensuous Sportiness design philosophy.
The Sonata will have a four-door coupe profile in the US. It could comfortably accommodate five people. In the interior, features include leather seats, soft-touch dashboard and large touchscreen controls that resemble electric cars. Apart from ample space, it has all the features of ultra-luxury cars. Unlike standard coupes, the Sonata has a large trunk.
The Sonata is equipped with all latest safety features such as airbags, ABS, automatic emergency braking, cruise control, active lane control and driver attention monitor, among others. It also has a blind-spot monitors, heads-up display and smart phone link.
The 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine generates 180 bhp of power, while the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine churns out 191 bhp of power. Hyundai also offers an all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The four-wheel independent suspension matches the performance the engine has to offer.
There is no information regarding the new Sonata's India launch. Since Hyundai will need a car in the premium segment, it could bring the new Sonata to India. If it comes, it will certainly make a splash, because it is vastly different from the cars available in the segment – and it could surely make a great design statement.