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(LEAD) Hyundai aims to sell 70,000 Sonatas in S. Korea this year

All Headlines 13:35 March 21, 2019

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead, photo; ADDS executive comment in 3rd para, details throughout)

GOYANG, South Korea, March 21 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, said Thursday it aims to sell 70,000 all-new Sonata sedans in the domestic market this year.

On Thursday, Hyundai Motor launched the eighth-generation midsize sedan, with the number of preorders from March 11 through Wednesday reaching 12,323 units, the company said.

"The new Sonata will allow customers to experience the 'smart mobility device' (which underwent a full-scale change) through advanced connectivity technologies and safety functions," Hyundai Motor Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk told reporters at a media test-drive event.

Hyundai's all-new Sonata sedan (Yonhap)

The latest Sonata comes with a whole new styling. It is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor and has a four-door-coupe look that is fashionable among many carmakers around the world, it said.

The car offers shorter overhangs, a sloping roofline and a low deck lid that create a balanced feel, and Hyundai's signature chrome accent line that goes through the hood and has light emitting diodes built in for a truly dramatic effect, Hyundai said in a statement.

It said these cues all combine to bring Hyundai's Sensuous Sportiness design concept to life. Sensuous Sportiness is a harmonious combination of four fundamental vehicle design elements: proportion, architecture, styling and technology, the statement said.

On the front, the Digital Pulse Cascading Grille, which makes the new Sonata look like a sports car, is sleekly connected to the voluminous hood. The new model is also accentuated by ultra-wide taillights that give a sense of width.

The new Sonata comes in four models -- one hybrid and three versions with 2.0-liter gasoline, 2.0-liter liquefied natural gas injection and 1.6-liter gasoline turbo engines. The engine is mated to a six speed automatic transmission, 17-inch tires and nine air bags.

The company has initially launched the 2.0-liter gasoline and LPG models, with the 1.6-liter gasoline turbo and 2.0-liter gasoline hybrid models scheduled to be launched in the second half of the year.

The base model of the South Korea-specification cars starts at 23.5 million won (US$20,900) with the price going up depending on features.

Hyundai said it will start shipping the new Sonata to overseas markets later this year, without elaborating on the markets.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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