Hyundai said Tuesday the next-generation 2020 Sonata will be lighter and safer in crashes thanks to a new platform the OEM plans to install on other models in its fleet.
“Through implementation of the third-generation platform, the new generation Sonata is expected to provide world-class value in overall vehicle performance,” Hyundai architecture group Vice President Fayez Abdul Rahman said in a statement. “Starting with the new Sonata model, Hyundai will gradually expand the use of new platform in order to provide joy of driving and comfort to the customers.”
A cool video posted Tuesday by Hyundai said the new platform is 5 percent lighter, though it’s unclear if it meant the previous platform or the “Conventional Vehicle” platform the third-gen platform is depicted racing against.
Hyundai described the platform as providing “a significant improvement in collision safety” by using a “multi-load path structure, ‘Hot Stamping,’ and super-high tensile steel plate.”
The video shows how Hyundai has engineered the front of the vehicle to split the crash energy, with only 50 percent of it going through the main driver’s side frame rail in what the OEM suggests is a small-overlap crash.
The video also indicates significant hot-stamped steel exists on the vehicle, including virtually the entire length of the frame rails and much of the rear frame rails. Hot-stamped steel typically carries repair restrictions based on both its metallurgy and intended function during a crash.
According to Hyundai:
The sophisticated multi-load path structure increases the energy absorbed by the vehicle in a collision, improving safety with minimization of collision impact into the passenger cabin.
The platform is designed so that the tires move outward during a small overlap collision to maximize customer safety. Such technology inhibits vehicle from spinning and prevents possible secondary collisions.
The extended application of Hot Stamping also prevents deformation of the passenger room, thereby further improving vehicle safety.
Hyundai also said the platform “dramatically” boosted lateral stiffness and improved noise, vibration and harshness control “through reinforced sound-absorbing systems in vibration-sensitive parts.”
The video also highlighted Hyundai’s aerodynamic designs for the platform’s underside, and the news release described optimizing airflow to increase air movement to the engine bay and heat dissipation.
Hopefully, Hyundai does finally bring OEM repair procedures to the U.S. — something that the company has said is in progress — with the Sonata when it delivers the vehicle later this year. Otherwise, collision repairers might not be able to restore the collision performance and other elements of this advanced platform with confidence. This could lead auto body shops to turn away customers seeking repairs and leave no alternative but totaling Sonatas.
Hyundai also said Jan. 29 that its 2019 Kona Electric would carry “an all-new CUV platform.” A Hyundai spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that was a different architecture than the platform Hyundai unveiled Tuesday.
Hyundai, March 12, 2019
Hyundai Motor Group YouTube channel, March 12, 2019
Hyundai said the next-generation 2020 Sonata will be lighter and safer in crashes thanks to a new platform the OEM plans to install on other models in its fleet. (Provided by Hyundai)
A March 12, 2019, video showed how Hyundai has engineered the front of the platform on the 2020 Sonata to split the crash energy, with only 50 percent of it going through the main driver’s side frame rail in what the OEM suggests is a small-overlap crash. (Screenshot from Hyundai Motor Group YouTube video)
A March 12, 2019, Hyundai video indicates significant hot-stamped steel exists on the platform used on the 2020 Sonata, including virtually the entire length of the frame rails and much of the rear frame rails. (Screenshot from Hyundai Motor Group YouTube video)