The new Hyundai Sonata was unveiled at the LA motor show.
The car is the Asian and American version of the Sonata - although the Europe-bound version will look dramatically different.
The new Sonata, which may be called the i40 in Europe, will go on sale in the UK late next year. The front and rear ends of the i40 will be completely changed for Europe and the car will be thoroughly re-engineered to suit European tastes.
Referring to the UK model, a Hyundai spokesman said: "We expect the car to be close to or class-leading in every department such as emissions, handling, ride and so on, but what really marks it out is that it will sell on its looks as well as all its other attributes.
"The design of this car is every bit as big a leap forward for the sector as the Accent to the i30 was for its sector."
European sales are expected to begin with an estate version, with saloon and hatch models following in 2011.
The engine range hasn't been revealed, but a Hyundai insider described it as "exceptional", saying it will include the 'R' diesels recently announced for the ix35 and Santa Fe, plus a series of small petrol and diesel engines.