Hyundai is teasing us with a rendering of the sedan version of its upcoming i40. Having already seen the i40 wagon in Geneva earlier this year, the Europe-exclusive midsize sedan—or as they say in Britain, midsize saloon—looks promising in terms of style. Featuring Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language, the i40 sedan’s styling is a bit of a cross between the U.S. Elantra and Sonata.
Based on the same platform as the Sonata, the i40 will be Hyundai’s midsize offering for Europe. While the Sonata may appeal to American audiences, the i40 was designed with European tastes in mind. The car was engineered at Hyundai’s European research and development headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany, lending to its European flavor. Looking at this sketch, Hyundai’s new design language is immediately apparent. We can see that the taillights wrap around the sides of the sedan’s body, similar to how they do on many current Hyundai models. The sketch also shows an almost coupe-like curve from the C-pillar back, recalling the shape of the Elantra. Looking more like an Elantra in the front than a Sonata, at least on the wagon version, the i40’s styling may be influenced more by Hyundai’s compact than its midsize counterpart in the U.S.
Drivetrain options for the i40 sedan haven’t been announced yet, but it’s probably safe to assume that it will get the same engines as the wagon. The wagon’s base models get either a 133-horsepower 1.6-liter gasoline I-4 or 1.5-liter turbo-diesel I-4 producing 114 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque. A naturally-aspirated version of the U.S.-market Sonata’s 2.0-liter GDi I-4 engine is also available in the wagon, producing 174 horsepower and 157 pound-feet of torque. A 1.7-liter I-4 tops the wagon’s diesel offerings, producing 134 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. We can expect the i40 wagon’s transmission options, which include a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic, to also make an appearance on the sedan version.
As far as size goes, the i40 won’t be quite as big as the Sonata. With the wagon version coming in at 4770 mm (187.8 inches), the sedan will be just a hair shorter than the U.S. market Sonata, which measures 4820 mm (189.8 inches). Wheelbase, however, is virtually identical, with the i40 sedan measuring an inch shorter than the Sonata. With such similar dimensions, the main differences between the two cars will probably only be skin-deep. Although the sketch only offers us a view of the i40 from the rear, we can use our imaginations and combine it with the wagon version’s front end to give us a better idea.
We’ll have to wait and see how the composite image we have in our mind matches up with the real deal when it debuts next week at the Barcelona Motor Show on May 12. Even if Europe’s midsize Hyundai does end up looking cooler than ours, at least we still get much hotter engines. Which one do you prefer? The i40 sedan’s European aesthetics or our very own Sonata?