Following up on a teaser sketch issued by the company itself, our spy photographers got a look inside a prototype for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The new midsize sedan will debut publicly in South Korea later this month, before appearing in the U.S. at some point later this year.
As was shown in the teaser photo, the interior of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata will adopt more horizontal control arrangements. The dual-zone climate control now has its own display screen and resides lower on the center stack, while the audio system controls have moved entirely to the top of the dashboard. The teaser showed a car with a full touchscreen infotainment system, but this prototype car has a simpler radio without navigation.
Whereas the current car has narrow air vents that taper toward the bottom of the infotainment system, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata looks to have vents that instead are wider at the bottom of the radio surround. On the center console, the transmission shifter is still a traditional design, but a button aft of it labeled "Drive Mode" hints the Sonata will have more powertrain options than the current car's "Eco" button.
There are fewer changes for the instrument cluster, where twin analog gauges continue to flank a small display. As for the four-spoke steering wheel, in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata it will feature more buttons and toggles that appear to control the cruise control, Bluetooth phone calling, audio, and cruise control.
On the outside, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata will look much the previously revealed teaser sketch. Its nose adopts a new chrome-trimmed hexagonal grille, light piping from the headlights extends into the chrome beltline, and the doors are creased just above the handles. Perhaps the biggest change is that the 2015 Hyundai Sonata will have a lower, more coupe-like roofline that will no doubt benefit aerodynamic performance as much as it helps aesthetically.
Under the skin, Hyundai says the new Sonata has more high-strength steel, cutting weight and improving chassis stiffness, and notes that the car has been tuned in Germany at the Nürburgring. The new structure is also claimed to be ready to ace the IIHS' demanding small-overlap crash test.
Expect more details on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata from South Korea later this month.