Hyundai released the first images of the 2020 Sonata earlier this month, but it said nothing of a new vehicle platform. Now, we’re learning that the midsize sedan will sit on a new, third-generation platform meant to enhance safety, performance, and efficiency.
To improve safety, the platform employs super-high tensile steel and hot stamped parts to prevent the deformation of the passenger space in the event of a collision. The platform also adopts a multi-load path structure that increases the vehicle’s ability to absorb crash energy. In a small overlap collision, where the front corner of a vehicle is hit, the tires are now trained to move outward to prevent spinning and potential secondary collisions.
Hyundai says the new platform should improve the Sonata’s power and driving performance. The automaker placed heavier bits like the drivetrain lower in the platform to give it a lower center of gravity. Take a look at the video below and you’ll also see the floor, and thus the passenger seating position, has also been lowered. By expanding lateral stiffness and positioning the steering system components closer to the center of the front wheels, Hyundai says it improved handling as well. The automaker reduced noise, vibration, and harshness through new sound-absorbing systems. For better efficiency, the new platform is said to improve air flow to the engine bay and optimize heat dissipation.
The new platform will eventually roll out to other vehicles, Hyundai said.
Hyundai hasn’t announced powertrain options on the new Sonata. But we do know the model is longer, lower, and wider than the current car. It also receives a significantly more upscale exterior and interior, at least from what we can tell in the pictures.