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Spy Shots: Don’t photograph this 2020 Hyundai Sonata!

Kamil Kaluski September 12, 2018 All Things Hoon 14 Comments

Automakers go to great extents to cover up their test mules. Sometimes I wonder if the cover-ups don’t just attract more attention but what do I know?

Our official Hooniverse Colorado-based spy photographer nabbed this Hyundai or Kia. And we know this because after covering up the test mule with all kinds of crap, the rocket scientists and/or possibly lawyers at Hyundai/Kia put a no photography sticker in the window along with their corporate logos on it.

That’s just dumb!

Why the hell would you do that? Did no one at any point questioned the logic of putting corporate logos on an car that was otherwise completely masked off?!

This sticker might say that they will sue and take away the first new-born anyone who takes a picture of their prototype but we just don’t know that. Our spy’s camera isn’t good enough to get the fine print. Sorry, Hyundai/Kia not sorry. 

The 2020 Sonata, Hyundai’s mid-size sedan, has been caught testing at the Nürburgring before. Well of course, where else if not the Nürburgring would you test a mid-size sedan at? Wal-Mart parking lot? A mix on suburban town, interstate highway, and a little bit of a big city? Hot July southern Florida or January Montana? Hell no, no one drives there. Nürburgring, baby!

Here in Colorado the Sonata is probably undergoing high elevation testing. And that thin air will probably work well for its four-cylinder turbocharged engine which the Sonata will undoubtedly have. Expect some kind of hybrid or hybrid plug-in electric version, as both companies have been involved more and more in each one. I wouldn’t expect a V6 as that’s more of a Genesis thing. 

Expect that latest radar-based accident avoidance systems as well as potential quasi-autonomous features. I don’t expect the Sonata to go like Nissan and offer an all-wheel-drive system on its mid-size, even if there is a market for it. Also, our spy photographer has upgraded (?) from his (or is it hers!?) Benz GLS to a Tesla Model X. Because we pay him (or her!?) that well. Also, check out the Jeep with the teardrop trailer! 

  • Fred

    I have only seen one camouflaged car. If it hadn’t been camouflaged I would of never noticed it. Even then it was some kind of SUV that I don’t really care for. So I didn’t turn around and chase it down to get a picture.

  • Sjalabais

    Plot twist: Renault engineers found out their printers can do Hyundai and Kia logos, too, and their secret success follow-up to the 25 is finally seeing American roads.


    • I’m sorry, but I like the shape of that car.
      Not sorry.

      • Sjalabais

        That makes two of us. Big hatchbacks have become popular after the discipline’s master, Renault, was done with them.

        • Manic_King

          Renault sold some of their cars in Korea badged as Samsungs, maybe that’s where Hyundai got idea from.

  • The only place I’ve seen a camouflaged prototype was in Death Valley during the 2016 LeMons Rally, which was also when I learned that Polaroid film doesn’t appreciate sustained exposure (so to speak) to high temperatures. I got one okay shot on the way into the park, a darkened shot just inside the park, then, well, let’s just say there wasn’t much reason to bother after that, so their secrets remained safe…


    • The last two look like they were taken by Picasso or Francis Bacon

      • Artsy, perhaps, but I was glad the remaining film acted normally after the ambient temperature fell.

    • Has manufacturers’ prototype camouflage ever been done as a LeMons theme? If not, it should be.

      • Not that I’ve ever seen, but maybe nobody noticed.

  • outback_ute

    Maybe it was just a clever ruse to generate publicity, like some of the novelty camouflage that there have been, eg Jaguar. Seems to have worked!

  • Siemion

    They should have gone the SAAB way.

    First “99” prototypes had a widened 96 body.

    When it came to test the actual 99 shell, SAAB engineers put a Daihatsu sign (because they had some letters laying around), instead of masking the whole body. Daihatsu wasn’t widely known in Sweden in the 60’s.


  • neight428

    Maybe the no photo sign is for employees? It’s more of a “post this to the internet” bait for the rest of us.

  • I think the squigle paint job should be offered as a factory option. Wait a minute! Is that a Cyclops tailgating that Jeep in the right lane?!!