The $34K Hyundai Sonata N Line Packs a Dual-Clutch Transmission and 290 HP
Hyundai’s hot sedan takes cues from its N brethren.
With the release of the new Sonata, Hyundai's sedan offerings are fresh. Sales are still good despite SUVs expanding in the Korean automaker's lineup, and they're even good enough to justify a performance version of the four-door. The New Sonata N Line was speculated to have over 275 horsepower, and indeed with a confirmed 290 hp plus 311 pound-feet of torque, Hyundai hasn't disappointed. In combination with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and a number of other performance-oriented changes, the new Sonata N Line looks like a tight package, especially starting at $34,195 including destination.
Hyundai hasn't released any new pictures of the vehicle, but we do have a few shots of the interior and exterior below.
There are quad exhaust tips, suede on the seats and that aggressive front fascia that we've already seen. What's important now, though, are the new specs and engineering details.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder touts a plethora of new parts, including a turbocharger, new bottom-end and new cylinder head. The latter integrates the exhaust manifold into its casting, which is becoming more and more common these days. Thanks to this head, which Hyundai touts as having a high-tumble combustion system, the full 311 pound-feet of torque is available from a stunningly low 1,650 rpm all the way up to 4,000 rpm, with peak horsepower arriving at 5,800 rpm. Also included in this new engine is both multi-point and direct fuel injection.
Power is sent to the front wheels only via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which thankfully—we're looking at you, Ford—has wet clutches. Hyundai says it's similar to the unit in the Veloster N, which means it should be capable of taking some abuse and deliver tight shifts. The brand's N Power Shift (NPS) system should also help with this; the explanation in the press release is a bit blurry, but it sounds to us like when you're buried in the throttle, it will slam gears. Launch control is also a part of this transmission's arsenal.
Other, more surface-level changes include new Sport and Sport+ drive modes which alter steering weight and transmission response, as well as a host of aesthetic changes such as more aggressive fascias, N-badging and a rear spoiler. On the inside, the car gets new seats with suede inserts and Nappa leather bolsters. The leather-wrapped sport steering wheel is also specific to this car.
And if you think Hyundai forgot about the chassis, well, there's a laundry list of changes which can be summed up as stiffer everything. All of the engine and transmission mounts are stiffer, as is the suspension. The springs, shocks and swaybars have all been re-tuned, and the steering rack is a quicker unit intended to make spirited driving a bit easier. The rubber also meets the road with 245mm-wide tires mounted to all-new 19-inch wheels, with summer tires optional for another $200.
Best of all, this car hits dealers in the United States this month, so if you're looking for a sports sedan, you might want to test this one. It's not clear if a full "N" version of the Sonata is coming yet, but with the Elantra N Line already here and a full "N" version of that car on the way, it might just happen. For now, though, this hot Hyundai sounds like a great start.
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