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Story: Second Generation Hyundai Sonata (1988-1993)

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With a few weeks to Hyundai Sonata Launch Event, scheduled for March 18, 2014 here in The Korean Car Blog we want to a review through 6 generation Sonata models. Take a seat and join us in this journey through time.

The Hyundai Sonata (Korean: 현대 쏘나타) was manufactured for the first time in 1985 and through many years it has changed its looks and technology to become one of the most popular models in the world. The first generation Sonata through the concept of “Art of Technology” showed a much different concept with simplistic straight lines. 

The second generation Sonata (codenamed Y2) was a part of Hyundai’s expansion in North America after the success of the Excel. It was introduced in South Korea on June 1, 1988. Then it was introduced in Canada in September 1988 as a 1989 model year.

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Hyundai Sonata Commercials in South Korea

Seen as the succesor of the Excel in North America, the Sonata was launched on November 14, 1988 as a 1989 model year, and in March landed 1989 in Australia. The exterior was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro from ItalDesign. The vehicle received a mid-term facelift in 1991. It replaced the Stellar as Hyundai’s large family car. Sonatas were built in Ulsan, South Korea, and in Bromont, Quebec.

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Sonata V6 export ceremony to US-market

The Sonata was designed by Hyundai and featured Mitsubishi’s engineering, including the platform from the Galant Σ and its 2.4 L 110 hp (82 kW) Sirius I4 engine as used in American-market models. A 3.0 L V6 based on the Mitsubishi 6G72 arrived in 1990. Other markets received 1.8L and 2.0L engines carried over from the first generation, but equipped with MPI, replacing their carbureted counterparts used in the Y1 Sonata. The U.S. model received the 2.0 L (131 hp) engine for the 1992, replacing the original 2.4 L (114 hp) engine.

Trim levels in the US were:

  • GL (2.4 engine and 2.0 in 1992)
  • GLS (3.0 engine)

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Hyundai Sonata in The Netherlands

Second generation (Y2)
Overview
Production 1988–1993
Assembly Bromont, Quebec, Canada
Ulsan, Korea
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro
Body and chassis
Related Mitsubishi Galant Σ
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 SOHC Mitsubishi Sirius engine (105 hp)
2.0 Mitsubishi Sirius engine (110 hp)
2.0 L (131 hp) I4 Mitsubishi 4G63
2.4 L (114 hp) I4 Mitsubishi 4G64
3.0 L (146 hp) V6 Mitsubishi 6G72
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104.3 in)
Length 4,680 mm (184.3 in)
Width 1,750 mm (68.9 in)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)


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Jose Antonio López

Passionated about Korean cars from Kia & Hyundai. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.

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