Hyundai has outlined key details for its fitter, faster Sonata, dubbed the N-Line, confirming its local arrival before the end of 2020.
Official specifications on Hyundai’s newest N-line variant reveal that it debuts a 2.5-litre turbo engine with enough power to out-grunt the much-lauded i30 N hot hatch – albeit in the nose of a heavier four-door sedan.
Other news includes the inclusion of an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which the Sonata N-Line has pinched from the new i30 N, while its chassis and handling have also been locally tweaked to suit its performance-focused attitude.
So, how powerful is it? Engineers have turbocharged the Sonata’s existing engine while adding some heavier duty upgrades to the cylinder head and internals, extracting an impressive 213kW and 422Nm.
For reference, the latest i30 N, even with some added tweaks, has its smaller 2.0-litre turbocharged engine pegged at 206kW and 392Nm, making the Sonata more powerful by 8kW and 30Nm.
And it’s all going through the front wheels without a limited-slip diff to aid traction. Gulp.
Granted, at 1636kg that Sonata has 300-odd extra kilograms over the i30 N to lug about.
The Sonata N-Line will assert itself in the mid-size segment with class-leading torque that edges out the turbocharged Mazda 6 GT and V6-powered Toyota Camry SL, while Hyundai is promising a sportier exhaust note - augmented, sadly - to give the N-Line more character as well.
To keep its fury under control, N-Line engineers developed the Sonata’s handling at Hyundai's Korean-based Namyang proving ground, delivering a bespoke damper, steering and bushing package that has been signed off by Hyundai’s renowned Australia’s ride and handling team.
Specific N-Line seats should keep you firmly held in place while exploring its new potential.
Too take its dynamic potential even further, the Sonata’s 19-inch wheels come in the widest tyre width available for more grip, and the brakes are upgraded – with discs and pads – to handle the extra speed.
Given the extent of all this tweaking, it’s only fitting Hyundai will treat the Sonata N-Line as its flagship sedan.
However, given Hyundai has not yet announced pricing, we’d assume its ask will over and above the current i30 N fastback and its $42,910 price tag.
We also understand it leaves the door open for a less-powerful Sonata to come to our shores in future, but nothing’s yet confirmed.
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