SEOUL -- The redesigned Hyundai Sonata will go on sale in March in the United States with a bigger optional V-6, the company said here last week.
The engine will displace 3.3 liters vs. 2.7 liters in the current model.
The base inline-four engine, a new powerplant developed by Hyundai Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG, will stay at 2.4 liters.
"Hyundai has already started trial production (in early June) of the Sonata in the Alabama plant by assembling two or three Sonatas a day," said CEO Kim Dong Jin. "Hyundai will produce a total of 300,000 units of the Sonata and Santa Fe SUV a year in the Alabama plant." The new plant is in Montgomery, Ala.
Hyundai wants the redesigned Sonata, above, to challenge the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.
Hyundai expects the Sonata to challenge the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in the heart of the mid-sized car market. "We have benchmarked Camry and Accord for the Sonata's design, cabin size, performance and interior," said Hyundai Motor spokesman Oles Gadacz.
The company will launch the redesigned Sonata in Europe in November. It will be shipped from South Korea. A diesel engine is planned for Europe in 2006, Gadacz said.
In South Korea, Hyundai will offer two inline-four engines, 2.0 liters and 2.4 liters.