Hyundai Confirms High-Performance Sonata N-Line with 275 Horsepower

Photo credit: Ascarissdesign
Photo credit: Ascarissdesign

From Car and Driver

  • A Hyundai Sonata N performance model seems like a distinct possibility, and this rendering shows what it could look like.

  • Like the Veloster N, it would get much sportier styling and major chassis improvements.

  • It could use a turbocharged engine with close to 300 horsepower.

UPDATE 4/17/19: Today at the New York auto show Hyundai confirmed that it would be introducing a high-performance Sonata sometime in 2020. The new model will have a turbocharged engine with "over 275 horsepower," so likely the same 2.0-liter four used in the Veloster N. Instead of being a full-on N model, though, it will be a Sonata N-Line, as we speculated below. That still leaves room for a potential Sonata N down the line.

Hyundai just gave us our first look at the all-new 2020 Hyundai Sonata, and the redesigned sedan looks more radical than its predecessor. Details are limited at the moment, but with a fastback-like shape and aggressive front end, the Sonata certainly looks a lot sportier than before. Rumors about a high-performance N version of the Sonata from Hyundai's new subbrand have swirled, and this rendering from Ascarissdesign shows what that model could look like.

In the rendering, the front end receives a glossy mesh grille with an N badge, and the front bumper has larger air intakes. Some vents have been added to the hood, and there's a wing-like vent at the trailing edge of the front wheel well with another N badge located above it. Bigger wheels are taken from the i30 N, and the car looks lowered. Red accents on the bumpers and side skirts and black trim in place of chrome round out the look.

What's more of an unknown is what powertrain the Sonata N could use. We expect that the standard Sonata will have a base naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine and an up-level turbocharged inline-four, most likely the existing 1.6-liter engine in the Sonata Eco. It would make some sense for Hyundai to save a larger turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-possibly the same engine as the Veloster N, which makes either 250 or 275 horsepower-for use in a performance model. Hyundai could instead use that 2.0-liter engine in a warmed-over Sonata N-Line, similar to the Elantra GT's newest trim level, meaning the potential full-bore Sonata N could get an even more powerful, larger-displacement turbo-four.

No matter the engine, the hot Sonata would most likely send power only through an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive, with almost no hope for a manual or an all-wheel-drive system. A retuned suspension, bigger brakes, a limited-slip differential, a new exhaust system, and model-specific driving modes would all be part of the Sonata N package. The interior could get more supportive bucket seats and some unique trim, like the blue seatbelts found on the Veloster.

While we might not hear more until this potential hotted-up sedan until later this year at the earliest, we should get a better feel for the possibilities soon. The new Sonata will make its official debut at the New York auto show next month, where we will learn details about the standard car's powertrain lineup and new platform.

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