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All-new Hyundai Sonata exposed

Seoul, South Korea - Hyundai has released these teaser images of the all-new Sonata, scheduled for release in its home country at the end of March and due to make its international debut at the New York motor show on 18 April.

Although it has yet to publish details of the 2015 Sonata, the company has already started taking orders for its new mid-sized sedan in Korea.

Teaser shows crisper outlines and signature hexagonal grille of Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language.

The new Sonata has been shaped by what Hyundai calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 - slightly harder edged, a little more grown-up than the previous iteration - and that has visibly been carried over to the interior.

The maker's efforts to take the Sonata upmarket can clearly be seen in the classy new steering wheel, simplified dashboard layout with strong horizontals, generous centre console, wood veneer and metallic trim elements.

HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL

Advances in passenger safety, we are told, include no less than seven air-bags and a new design of seat belt.

Under the skin, Hyundai proudly states, the new Sonata's bodyshell incorporates more than double the percentage of high-strength steel than the previous version and is, in fact, the first Hyundai platform to contain more than 50 percent high-strength steel, which is more than twice as rigid as mild steel and about 10 percent lighter.

There are three times as many hot stampings as on the previous Sonata, and a new design of double-section B pillar - a beam within a beam, if you will - to lend extra protection in case of a side impact.

All the screwed, bolted and riveted joins on the body have been assembled with a structural adhesive for even more rigidity and most of that extra strength, it says, is around the passenger cell where it will do the most good, both in terms of protecting the occupants and improving the car's handling.

ENGINE SPEC(ULATION)

Hyundai has yet to confirm powertrain details but rumours buzzing around the cybergarage suggest that the entry-level 2.4-litre engine in the previous model will give way to a 1.6-litre turbopetrol four rated at 105kW and 264Nm.

There's also likely to be a two-litre turbopetrol variant, as well a 'green' Sonata with an improved version of the powertrain in the previous Sonata hybrid, with a plug-in hybrid derivative - sharing its mechanicals with the Kia Optima plug-in - to follow in 2016.

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