The current Hyundai Sonata made a big splash when it debuted as a 2011 model. Perennially an also-ran in the segment, the latest iteration was vaulted to the top tier. Styling was a big component in that ascension; “Fluidic Sculpture” was just beginning and the car’s rakish roofline brought to mind the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
Being at the forefront of style though means over time designs can become stale. The Sonata is a good looking sedan – on the rest of the lineup Fluidic Sculpture hasn’t worn as well though. It has become a bit overwrought. Apparently, Hyundai agrees. The new Sante Fe crossover debuted a version of the styling language called Storm Edge.
Now that is forming for the basis for the next-generation of Hyundai styling, called Fluidic Precision. The Sante Fe was a breath of fresh air, so we welcome the change in direction. Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik revealed this in a Q & A with Automobile Magazine. He said future designs would be more “mature,” and that “forms might be a little less extroverted.” Good to hear.
Once again Sonata appears to be leading the way for Hyundai styling. Krafcik said the design for the next-gen Sonata has been frozen. The new approach comes after the competition has made similar moves. For instance, Ford has criticized Hyundai’s styling and pioneered an opposite direction with the “One Ford.” The 2013 Fusion is understated and unadorned in its appearance. For once Hyundai has stood out with its current lineup, so it’ll be interesting to see how much the next-generation cars mirror their rivals. As with anything, too much of a good thing is….too much.