The new Hyundai Sonata – Automotive ambrosia!
New, in-house developed 6-speed transaxle automatic gearbox with SHIFTRONIC
“Fluidic Sculpture” design language
Increased cabin space
Advanced economy technology, Eco Coach and Alternator Management System
Improved fuel economy, reduced emissions
Supple, lightweight four-wheel independent suspension
The new Hyundai Sonata: Summary
The sixth-generation Sonata sees Hyundai tackling the premium sedan segment head on, with a product which is unmistakably upmarket without straying from the company’s core focus on superb value.
This star quality begins with the “Fluidic Sculpture” design language, which has created a sedan emitting seduction from every graceful curve and tantalising bulge. Both inside and out, the new Sonata echoes the timeless elegance of flowing liquid, and is immediately desirable on aesthetics alone.
As well as being visually arresting, the architecture of the new Sonata delivers a generously spacious and open cabin environment for improved occupant comfort and enjoyment. Finished in tactile, high-quality materials and artfully laid-out and illuminated, the new Sonata offers an interior which is matched only by the graceful exterior for sheer owner pleasure.
This sculpted beauty is perfectly complemented by high-tech mechanical engineering, with the company’s own 6-speed transaxle automatic gearbox delivering an unprecedented seamlessness of power delivery to further accentuate the premium nature of the vehicle as a whole.
Ingenious technology has been applied to the drivetrain holistically to improve fuel consumption and drive down harmful CO2 emissions. The Alternator Management System is one example of this commitment, while the Eco Coach actively assists the driver in extracting the most mileage from each fuel tank. Combined these technologies, as well as the application of intelligent engineering, endow the new 2.4-litre Theta II engine with exemplary fuel economy without compromising on the power befitting a premium luxury sedan.
Further benefitting economy as well as the poised dynamics of the new Sonata, are the lightweight four-wheel independent suspension components. This setup provides a compliant but controlled ride under all conditions, while keeping the weight of the vehicle to a minimum.
The new Hyundai Sonata ushers in a new era for Hyundai as a powerful force in the executive saloon market. It succeeds in bringing the beauty and serenity of top-class motoring engineering to a more affordable price level.
The new Hyundai Sonata: In detail
Johannesburg, 27 September 2010- The sixth-generation Hyundai Sonata, which began development in 2005 under the codename YF, takes the Korean automotive giant to a new level of style, sophistication, and outright quality with its slender lines and extensive under the hood sophistication. The 2010 Sonata has been crafted from the ground up to challenge conventionally-accepted wisdom regarding quality engineering and a luxurious driving environment, both reinforcing the increasingly recognised perceived quality of the Hyundai brand while delivering a revelationary premium sedan driving experience.
Says Hyundai’s Director of Marketing Stanley Anderson; “The all-new Sonata follows in the footsteps of the ix35 in driving the Hyundai brand ever more upmarket, without compromising our reputation for great value. The stunning lines of this car not only compete with, but in fact overshadow, many more established players in this segment, and once you get under the skin and start adding-up the high-tech features behind the scenes you realise that it is not just a gorgeous face either, but a comprehensive and very attractive new player in the premium sedan market.”
A new direction of flow
First seen on the Hyundai ix35 SUV and, in international markets, the mould-breaking Genesis coupe, Hyundai engineers have applied the arresting Fluidic Sculpture design language to the Sonata to superb effect. The new sedans lines successfully combine the inherent beauty of nature with a more esoteric quest to capture the ever-journeying qualities of the human soul into no less than a rolling metal sculpture.
This all-new design language combines a liquid light flow with distinctive rigid surfaces to create the impression of eternal dynamic tension, and the uniquely striking designs it produces will ripple down throughout the Hyundai range moving forward as the new core design ethos. With the freedom of styling permitted by a more conventional sedan bodyshell, the Sonata is a powerful expression of the elegant and svelte automobiles Fluidic Sculpture design practices yield.
Aesthetically, the new Sonata absolutely has what it takes to challenge in the premiere league of the competitive sedan market. Long, light, and low, the high beltline and low roofline lend the vehicle a sleek grace, punctuated by a mono-form side profile complete with signature Hyundai chrome detailing highlighting this striking shape down the entire length of the vehicle. The face of the vehicle is bold – the chrome strip begins at the headlights and extends outwards, while the large grille suggests a powerful heart beats beneath the gracefully sculpted bonnet. This element is uniquely rippled in-line with the purposeful character lines which flow up the bonnet, flanked by headlights themselves which clearly demonstrate precise attention to detail.
This sculptured athleticism is continued inside, with an interior which is not only of a high quality of material as well as finish, but also mirrors the flowing nature of the bodywork with a flow-through centre console and instrument panel. Although the cabin boasts more space than ever thanks to capitalising on the increased dimensions of the platform itself, these natural edges serve to give the impression of the interior elements wrapping themselves comfortingly around the occupants.
Finally the already-roomier interior appears even more open and airy thanks to the panoramic sun-roof fitted as standard to Executive models, which allows the most natural light possible into the cabin further enlightening the interior ambience and highlighting the superb quality of every tactile component in grand style. Naturally, the interior conditions are kept at the selected comfort levels by the standard fitment of a powerful climate control system at all times, automatic in the range-topping Executive, and manually-controlled in the standard Sonata.
“Although difficult to quantify, the new Sonata simply exudes class and comfort from its sophisticated and shapely lines, and continues this elegance into the interior with superb build quality in evidence all around and levels of refinement which must be experienced to be believed! The new Sonata is a stunner, regardless of which angle you look at it from, and we expect it to be quite a sensation on our showroom floors,” adds Anderson.
The flow of power
Ideally complementing the show stopping styling for the South African market, is a new Theta II petrol engine combining effortless power with the refinement such a sophisticated vehicle deserves, while innovative integrated developments deliver unparalleled fuel economy advantages. The motor features straightened inlet tracts for a better spread of torque for delivering a completely relaxed and gracious drive, as well as being significantly lighter than earlier-generation motors which reduces engine inertia so that less power is consumed by internal inefficiencies.
At a capacity of 2.4-litres, the Sonata engine produces 131 kW of power and 228Nm of torque while emitting just 195g/km of CO2. The new Theta II motor delivers free-revving performance without significant operating costs thanks to detailed development work as well as the intelligent application of new engineering technology.
Further enhancing the economy of the all-new Sonata, is a unique 6-speed automatic transmission featuring H-matic semi-automatic operation and several state-of-the-art developments exclusive to Hyundai. Changing ratios can be left up to the silken command of the gearbox software, or taken control of manually by the driver via the gear stick itself or shift paddles situated behind the steering wheel (in the range-topping Executive variant). In either mode drivers will become accustomed to gear changes so buttery-smooth as to be barely noticeable in day to day driving, enhancing the overarching perception of exceptional refinement in the driving experience of the new Sonata.
This new transmission features a unique flat torque-converter which helps to keep it surprisingly compact while paring-back the overall weight of the gearbox installation. The exceptionally smooth swapping of gears is partially a result of the incorporation of three planetary gear sets and four pinion differentials which also make for a highly durable transmission system. Displaying meticulous attention to detail, Hyundai has even incorporated an ingenious hydraulic pressure control unit which compensates for minute manufacturing variations from one solenoid valve to the next, which can cause fluctuations in the quality of the shift itself, by incorporating integrated adjustment screws on each of the eight valves which exist in the transmission. Each individual screw is then optimised at the factory to ensure consistent hydraulic pressure at any shift point, improving the smoothness of shifts and overall control of the gearbox further still.
This 6-speed automatic transmission allows for the optimal spacing of gear ratios to improve cruising economy without sacrificing accelerative performance. Hyundai joins an elite class of automotive manufacturers who have designed and built their own six-speed automatic transmissions with the introduction of this gearbox first seen on the ix35, with its unique elements resulting in a system which is not only 12 kg lighter but also 40.6mm shorter than the five-speed unit it replaces, and yet despite being built using the most ingenious components it is also a simpler and, therefore, more reliable system as well with 62 fewer parts, benefitting longevity, cost, and overall vehicle weight.
The unit is also completely maintenance-free: it is not equipped with a dipstick as it is filled with an automatic transmission fluid that is designed for the life of the vehicle thereby reducing maintenance costs.
To further ensure that the new Sonata delivers exemplary fuel economy, the manufacturer has incorporated unique features designed to aid the driver in achieving the maximum range from a single tank of petrol.
The Eco Coach provides drivers with suggestions of precisely when to change up to the next ratio, with this information being delivered via an LED information screen in the dashboard featuring three coloured LEDs to aid drivers in achieving the ideal fuel-economy possible at all times.
In addition to this clever integrated assistant, the new Sonata also features a state-of-the-art Alternator Management System (AMS). The circuitry of this intelligent solution constantly monitors the state of the charge stored in the vehicle’s battery, and will sever the load placed on the engine by the alternator when it detects that the battery is at maximum capacity via a clutch located between alternator and engine. So when battery-charging is not required of the engine, the new Sonata’s Theta II unit will consume less fuel than conventional alternator arrangements as power is not being diverted to the operation of this heavy component.
These high-tech fuel-economy solutions perfectly underline the intelligence and very modern nature of the all-new Hyundai Sonata, while saving customers operating costs by increasing the range achievable per tank. They combine to deliver an EU combined test-cycle average of just 8,2 litres per 100km – an excellent result for a vehicle of this size and luxurious specification.
Flow with the road
Premium sedans need to have suspension setups capable of absorbing the worst road imperfections without unduly impacting on the interior refinement or sacrificing dynamic control. To achieve this objective, the new Sonata features fully-independent suspension at all four corners, the front based on McPherson struts and the rear on a sophisticated multi-link arrangement.
Gas-charged dampers absorb the impacts of road imperfections while coil-springs and stabiliser bars ensure precise control and agile steering responses while allowing the minimum of body-roll during hard cornering. Hyundai has also introduced with this new Sonata its Amplitude Selective Dampers – special shock absorbers which vary in stiffness or compliance depending on road conditions and dynamic requirements allowing the new Sonata to deliver both a cosseting ride and inspiring handling in the same appealing package. The multi-link rear suspension is constructed of aluminium to minimise weight and further improve overall suspension performance.
Superb safety in all conditions
The new Hyundai Sonata features digital driver assistance in the form of an Electronic Stability Program with Brake Assist for maintaining control even in unexpected driving situations, while Hill Start Assist Control holds the shapely sedan in position on inclines for two seconds until the powertrain takes up the load and the vehicle proceeds smoothly along its course.
Occupant safety is assured by the fitment of a full complement of six airbags, not to mention the use of hot stamped ultra high-strength steel in the crash structure for the most rigid vehicle possible in the event of an unavoidable collision.
Capture the flow
This highly advanced, superbly engineered and jaw-dropping new premium sedan is now available at Hyundai SA dealerships across the nation, and the company believes that it will metaphorically blow local customers hair right back with its unique combination of high-end comfort, impeccable construction standards and unparalleled refinement as well as previously unheard-of value. The new Sonata retains the core Hyundai focus of combining the most comprehensively-equipped vehicles with very appealing pricing, and delivers a wide range of industry firsts in its segment as a result.
Anderson concludes; “With the new Sonata we have a comprehensive, hugely appealing and very serious player in the premium sedan market. It’s such a complete and well-rounded package but we’ve still managed to save the best for last – when you see the price you’ll pay for this modern and stylish vehicle you may have to sit down for a moment as you catch your breath, already likely in short supply from the forceful impact of the styling alone!”
The new Sonata is expected to drive off of showroom floors briskly thanks to these unique core properties, while strengthening the overall perception and positioning of the brand in the market by being an ambassador for just how well-built and exhaustively engineered Hyundai automobiles are. Expect to see the striking beauty of the new Hyundai Sonata flowing through your local lanes very soon – you will catch your breath and stare in appreciation!
MAINTENANCE & PRICING:
The all new Sonata comes standard with Hyundai’s industry leading 5 year or 150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty and recently introduced 5 year or 150 000km Roadside Assistance offering. Service intervals are every 15 000kms and service costs for the first 5 years or 90 000kms are covered by the standard service plan
Sonata 2.4 GLS AT R 279 900
Sonata 2.4 GLS AT Exec R 299 900