Hyundai is not afraid to use the ‘N’ word, but not as you might have expected it, because ‘N’ is synonymous to ‘sporty’ in their brand. Slotting right under the full-blown ‘N’ models is the ‘N Line’ family, which is less aggressive and not that powerful.
Nonetheless, if the new-gen Sonata is on your shortlist and you want a more engaging drive, then the upcoming N Line is the one to go for. Mind you, it’s still almost a year away, as it will be introduced next fall, but the automaker has already allowed a lucky few to jump in the driver’s seat of a prototype and check out some of the changes.
From a visual standpoint, the Sonata N Line sports different front and rear bumpers and a new pattern for the grille. It also has new wheels, 19-inch in diameter on the tested example, as well as dual exhaust tips with a quad-tip look. The interior adds front sports seats with ‘N’ embossing, red stitching and a plethora of features, yet it’s what lies beneath the skin that should spark your interest, as it boasts new suspension, recalibrated steering and a 2.5-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The mill produces an estimated 290 HP and around 310 pound-feet (420 Nm) of torque and is hooked up to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that provides quicker gear changes at the expense of smoothness and directs power to the front wheels. A limited-slip differential is not on the list, but Launch Control is, as well as a deeper exhaust note and further fine-tuning. Additionally, America probably won’t get the Sport+ driving mode, as this was a Korean-spec car, but you will be able to enjoy it in Sport, alongside Normal and Custom modes.
Enough small talk; it’s time to see whether Hyundai has nailed it when it comes to the Sonata N Line in the video review right below.