It may not seem like it, but it’s nearly three years since the current seventh-generation Hyundai Sonata was revealed to the world. A facelift is just around the corner, and Hyundai has released the first teasers in the form of sketches of the revised D-segment sedan.

Helpfully, a sketch of the outgoing model is placed next to the new car, so it’s easy to see the differences. Immediately, the facelifted Sonata looks significantly more aggressive, with reshaped headlights, the company’s latest Cascading Grille and larger side air inlets with what appear to be vertical LED daytime running lights. The bonnet also features twin strakes on the top surface.

The rear has been given an even more thorough makeover, with slimmer tail lights featuring Lamborghini-style arrow-shaped light guides, a number plate recess relocated to the bumper and a wider rear valence that gives a more planted stance. The Sport variant has also been redesigned for greater differentiation from the standard car, including a mesh grille, bigger intakes and a rear diffuser with quad tailpipes.

The relatively major redesign was reportedly in response to a lacklustre reception to the milquetoast LF model in the United States, especially since the preceding model was the dramatic, swoopy YF. Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said of the facelift last April that “the front end looks completely different,” and the new look is “beautiful” and “very well executed.”

Mechanical upgrades expected to be introduced include an eight-speed automatic gearbox to improve performance and efficiency, along with a new 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the Sport model, derived from the upcoming i30 N hot hatch. The mill is expected to produce over 260 hp, slightly more than the current 245 hp/352 Nm Theta II turbo GDI engine.

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