Hyundai is beginning to roll out a wider, taller and roomier Sonata after giving the new model its international show debut at Paris last week. The European-look 2005 Sonata is 55mm longer than the current model, and its wheelbase has been extended by 30mm. Front legroom is up by 10mm, and rear legroom by 30mm. The front and rear tracks are also significantly wider, which together with a lower ride height gives the car a more aggressive stance than the current model. A new range of engines is offered, including a newly developed 2.4 litre ‘Theta’ DOHC petrol engine, a potent ‘Lambda’ 3.3 V6 (key engine for the US), while an all new 2.0 VGT common rail turbo diesel (essential for European success) will follow. The new 2.4 litre unit develops 161PS at 5800rpm, while the 3.3 V6 produces 233PS at 6200rpm. The 3.3 V6 is mated to a new five speed H-matic gearbox (which allows the driver to switch between a ‘stepped’ manual or full automatic), while the diesel is being developed with a six speed manual or four speed automatic. Most models in most markets will come with front, side and rear curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and three three-point seatbelts in the rear. Now onto its fifth generation, the Sonata is Korea’s best selling car. Worldwide, Hyundai expects to sell 230,000 in 2005.