Hyundai on Tuesday offered a sneak preview of the mid-sized LF Sonata set to hit showrooms at the end of this month. It will be the latest version of the popular Sonata series following the YF Sonata introduced in 2009.
The automaker at a press junket at its automotive research center in Gyeonggi Province said the LF is the "culmination" of all its efforts. The first Sonata came out in 1985, and the LF is the seventh generation.
Hyundai conducted a collision test with the LF Sonata to demonstrate what the company claims are enhanced safety features. A frontal collision at 64 km/h left the driver's seat and front doors with only minor damage. "This is the first time we have conducted a crash test even before the official launch of a new model," a spokesman said.
The LF weighs 1,469 kg compared to the YF's 1,415 kg, but the spokesman said that is still lighter than rival models like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or GM Malibu.
Improved shock absorbers ensure a smoother ride, the spokesman added.
The 2.0-liter model can travel 12.6 km per liter, compared to 11.9 km for the YF, and while the YF came in only 2.0-liter and turbo versions, the LF will also be available in 2.4-liter, diesel and hybrid versions. It has seven air bags, including one that explodes in front of the driver's knees in case of a collision.
Hyundai admits the LF will cost more than the YF, which was priced between W22 million and W27 million. The new model will be available in showrooms on March 24, with pre-orders starting Wednesday.