The seventh-generation Sonata has been around for approximately three years, so it comes as no surprise Hyundai is preparing to give its midsize sedan a mid-cycle refresh. Here we have a prototype performing cold-weather testing and wearing an extensive amount of camouflage to hide the novelties. Despite the heavy disguise, you can already observe it has a new pair of vertically oriented strips of LED daytime running lights.
We're not entirely sure, but the front grille appears to be considerably larger than on the current model as it extends further down the fascia. As you would expect from only a facelift, the side profile will remain virtually the same, although the side mirror caps might go through a very subtle revision.
The back of the car remains mostly hidden underneath the black fabric, but even so you can already notice the new graphics for the LED taillights, which might get a different shape. Both front and rear bumpers will receive a nip and tuck, while fresh alloy wheel designs and possibly new body colors will round off the changes on the outside.
Previous spy shots have revealed Hyundai is also preparing a hotter Sonata with a more aggressive front fascia boasting a black mesh grille. It will also have a pair of beefy rear trapezoidal exhaust tips and will sit a tad lower thanks to the sporty suspension. By far the biggest change will occur underneath the hood where the performance Sonata will receive a stronger engine.
Its identity has not been disclosed, although it might be the new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine set to be used by the i30 N where it will have somewhere in the region of 260 horsepower (194 kilowatts), if not a little bit more. That would be a slight improvement over the existing Sonata 2.0T with 245 hp (183 kW). It remains to be seen whether this spicy version will replace the 2.0T altogether or it will be positioned above it.
All of these changes are likely in tow for the 2018 model year, so expect the facelifted Sonata to be introduced several months from now.