[UPDATE, July 18] 19 new spy shots have been added at the beginning of the gallery, below.

In a segment dominated by the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo, Skoda Superb, and the Opel Insignia, it’s easy to forget about the Hyundai i40. An aging model, the midsize sedan has been available for more than eight years and it can also be had as a more practical wagon. The next-generation model was spotted for the first time back in August 2017, but that turned out to be only a test mule carrying the body of the current car.

Fast forward to present day, the new one has been caught by the spy camera with a dramatically changed shape reminiscent of sleek models like the VW Arteon and the gorgeous Peugeot 508. It appears to be wearing the full production body as well as the headlights, while the taillights have a rather odd look and seem to be missing some of the bits and pieces.

See the wagon spied last year:

We’re curious whether the new i40 will stick to the sedan body style or it will make the transition towards a more practical liftback arrangement. By the looks of it, our hunch is that it will soldier on as a sedan.

One has to wonder whether the next-gen i40 will basically be a European take of the Sonata facelift, with the latter having been spotted just last month in the United States. The two prototypes do seem to be quite similar as the i40’s shape appears to be virtually the same as the Sonata’s, right down the size and shape of the quarter glass and the location of the side mirrors.

Perhaps it would make more sense to engineer just one car and sell it under different names depending on region as a way to save money with development since Hyundai would only have to tweak the Sonata to create a more European-friendly i40.

Regardless if this is indeed the new i40 or an updated Sonata currently being tested in Europe, it appears to take cues from the superb Le Fil Rouge concept unveiled in March at the Geneva Motor Show to signal Hyundai’s next design language.

Expect to see it without the camouflage at some point in 2019.

Photos: Automedia, CarPix

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