2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line First Look: The Sporty Family Sedan


The big-name German performance brands all sell performance in various packages and steps, from BMW’s M Sport or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG packages to full-blown M and Mercedes-AMG models. Hyundai aspires to follow in these footsteps with N models like North America’s Veloster N and Europe’s i30 N at the top of the retail pyramid (factory racing N cars occupy the ultimate peak of the pyramid) and a widening line of N Line models occupying the rung beneath them. First to get the N Line treatment was the Elantra GT N Line, and next up are the Elantra and Sonata sedans.

Not too much info has been shared on the full Sonata N Line package, but at a powertrain backgrounder in December 2019, we learned that the heart of this new beast is a turbocharged 2.5-liter “Smartstream” gasoline direct injection (TGDI) engine that should make 290 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. That represents a 52 percent power bump and a significant 71 percent more torque than the next-hottest-performing Sonata, a turbocharged 1.6-liter good for 191 hp and 181 lb-ft. Relative to the Elantra GT N Line’s 25 and 30 percent bumps in power and torque, that’s pretty impressive.

A performance boost of that magnitude will require commensurate reinforcement and re-tuning of the brakes, springs, and dampers, which engineers are no doubt putting the finishing touches on. Will the team be able to transform this sizeable front-drive sedan into a credible back-road burner that performs somewhere between an Elantra GT and a Veloster N? Consider our fingers well and truly crossed.

Performance aside, the N Line kit comes with a number of visual updates relative to the standard Sonata, including a new fascia, racier grille, and three large air intakes. Around the back sits a new rear bumper with dual exhaust outlets flanking a new lower fascia. A set of 19-inch alloys help complete the sportier look. Inside, the model benefits from dark chrome trim, more heavily bolstered seats, red stitching on the steering wheel, and N Line badging (how else are you supposed to know you’re in a Sonata with a little extra flair?).

Then comes the question of what Hyundai will charge for such a device. If it applies the same roughly 20 percent upcharge that one pays to upgrade a base Elantra GT automatic to an Elantra GT N Line with its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, then that should bring the price of an SEL-spec Sonata N Line to around $34,000, or a Limited grade one to $41,000. It’s a bad idea to load a performance car up to Limited spec anyway, and with the Accord 2.0T Touring topping out at $37,355 and a loaded Camry XSE V-6 just cresting $39,000, we’d expect the Sonata N Line to be spec’d to price out a little shy of $40,000.



Source link

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Not all of China is recovering from coronavirus hit at the same rate, survey finds

In this picture taken on September 22, 2020, people commute on shared bicycles along a street during the evening rush hour in Beijing.Nicolas...

Bitcoin (BTC) price plunges as $260 billion wiped off cryptocurrencies

LONDON/GUANGZHOU, China — Bitcoin and other digital currencies plunged on Friday as a proposed capital gains tax hike from U.S. President Joe Biden...

GM’s sales rose 4.8% in the fourth quarter in an otherwise dismal year

2020 Chevrolet CorvetteGMU.S. auto sales for General Motors declined 11.8% in 2020 but showed strong signs of a recovery in the fourth quarter,...

Here are tax issues to consider if you tapped retirement account in 2020

fstop123 | E+ | Getty ImagesIf you pulled money from your 401(k) plan or individual retirement account last year to get through tough...