Hyundai Sonata EF Facelift Unveiled at Shanghai Auto Show

There are many good reasons why numerous Chinese automakers turn to European studios when it comes to designing cars - Hyundai's new mid-size sedan that is codenamed for the time being BT01, is one of them. The BT01, which is in fact a redesigned version of the previous generation Sonata (EF), is the very first model to be independently styled by Hyundai's Chinese joint venture, Beijing Hyundai Motor Company (BHMC).

On the outside, the rhinoplasty surgeons of Hyundai's Chinese arm gave the Sonata EF a new face job with 'startling' headlamps and a massive chromed grilled. At the rear end, changes include a newly designed bumper and restyled tail lamps that now extend onto the boot.

Inside, Hyundai's designers opted for a two-tone color scheme while seat materials, interior trim and colors were also updated as was the backlighting of the central gauge cluster that was changed from the original green in favor of red which is said to be more popular with Chinese drivers. Other improvements over the outgoing model include a new DVD/GPS Navigation unit located in the centre stack.

Power for the BT01 is supplied by a 2.0-liter Beta engine that is hooked up to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional four-speed automatic transmission .

Hyundai said that the BT01 will go on sale in China this summer at which time its official name and pricing will be announced. The BT01 will be sold alongside the recently facelifted, domestic market version of the Sonata NF.