Hyundai has begun testing what looks like a brand new four-door saloon at the Nurburgring, with obvious mid-size proportions, which point to it being the all-new i40.
It could also be the eighth-generation U.S. Sonata, or at least a platform sibling, although the jury is obviously out until we hear anything official. Still, while there are currently some differences between the two nameplates, Hyundai might want to bring them together in an attempt to save money – it would definitely be a more efficient model strategy.
Not all that futuristic
What’s exciting here is that this particular prototype might actually feature styling cues from the automaker’s sleek-looking Le Fil Rouge concept car, unveiled in Geneva earlier this year. For example, the sweeping design line between the door handles and side windows seems to be the same shape as on the concept.
The trunk lid spoiler also appears similar, but that’s about it. Something that looks exactly like the Le Fil Rouge concept is probably many years away – just look at its massive wheels and wheel arches, futuristic lines and suicide doors. We definitely shouldn’t be holding our breath here, especially since this prototype boasts a good old fashioned grille and high-mounted headlights, unless the clusters are fake.
It’s not a sports car
We probably shouldn’t read too much into this prototype boasting Recaro seats and a roll cage inside. Hyundai is probably just trying to gauge its sporty characteristics as best they can. The final product will most probably have a feature-rich cabin, with modern safety and connectivity systems, as well as higher quality materials than older i40/Sonata models.
The Korean automaker could churn out both hybrid as well as fully-electric versions of this new car, to go with an array of petrol, and possibly diesel units. This particular vehicle seems to be a hybrid, seen as how it has a yellow sticker on its rear window.
In the end, whether this is just the all-new i40, the next Sonata or both (which would make the most financial sense), we still have some waiting to do in order to find out. As for when you might see this car in dealerships, probably not until sometime next year.