Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has released a Malaysia Day video for the upcoming celebration on September 16, which marks the day our country was formed. While Merdeka Day marks Malaya’s independence from Britain, Malaysia Day celebrates the coming together of Malaya, Sabah (North Borneo then), Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. Singapore left the federation in 1965.

Hyundai Malaysia’s video shows its staff from various departments sharing what Malaysia Day is about as well as what makes Malaysia unique. As you’d expect, it has mentions of the various races and cultures that make up our country, and the “in-house talents” were instructed to speak in their mother tongue. Of course, food was mentioned.

But what caught our eye were scenes featuring Satria and Alfian. Yes, they are familiar faces (Hi guys!) but what’s more interesting is the background – there’s a new Hyundai Sonata sitting there. This is yet another hint from HSDM that the eighth-generation Sonata is coming to Malaysia; the boldly-styled D-segment sedan also appeared in a Kona promo image last week.

Revealed in March 2019, the latest Sonata sees Hyundai going back to adventurous design after the somewhat conservative LF. Remember the YF that shocked the market (in a good way)? This latest DN8 should do the same trick, I feel. Sleek shape aside – it’s longer and wider but lower – the new Sonata’s LED signature lighting at both ends really stand out. The LF’s cabin was bland to say the least; this weak point has been fixed.

Available powertrains elsewhere include a range of Smartstream engines ranging from a 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated GDI engine with 191 hp and 245 Nm, to a 1.6 litre turbocharged GDI unit pumping out 180 hp and 264 Nm, both paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are also 2.0 litre MPI petrol and hybrid options. Hyundai’s SmartSense driver assist and safety suite should be included as well.

But just like the YF era (along with the LM Tucson), design will be the main draw of the new Sonata. Timely, as previously conservative Japanese D-segment sedans are also looking sleeker these days in an attempt to stem the SUV tide. What do you think of the new Sonata?

GALLERY: 2020 Hyundai Sonata DN8