Hyundai continues to expand its lineup of N cars, with a sporty Sonata N Line.
It’s not a full blown, high performance N, like the i30 N or i30 Fastback N models — but it’s no slouch either.
The Smartstream 2.5-litre turbocharged GDi engine delivers 213kW of power and 422Nm of torque, the latter from 1650 to 4000 rpm.
That’s more than the axed Kia Optima GT which was good for 180kW and 350Nm.
It was a good thing, but failed to find sufficient sales.
The 213kW engine is paired with the N 8-speed wet Dual-Clutch Transmission (N DCT) developed specially for N vehicles.
The addition of a turbocharger, different cylinder head, and unique internals contribute to significantly better performance compared to the 142kW of the standard naturally aspirated engine.
The N Line has stacks of low and mid-range torque and pulls strongly all the way to redline.
With a low kerb weight at just 1636kg, the N DCT delivers crisp and precise changes.
It all adds up to the most powerful Sonata ever.
In addition, engineers have made several changes to Sonata’s chassis to increase stiffness which produces better handling.
A unique suspension tune comes from firmer bushings, higher spring rates, revised shock absorber valving, with larger sway bars front and rear.
To bring Sonata to a stop engineers have added larger front and rear brake calipers and discs.
Other features, include rev-matching, N Power Shift, launch control, active sound design (ASD) and shifting pattern.
Driver-oriented features, such as paddle shifters and Drive Mode Selector system, enable a race-inspired experience behind the wheel.
The digital instrument display changes to reflect the different drive modes, which include Normal, Sport, Sport +, and Custom.
In addition to changing the cluster, toggling through them alters the steering weight and the speed and strategy of the transmission’s shifts.
Sonata N Line’s smooth and fast downshifting, quick acceleration, throaty engine roar and assertive sense of acceleration are sure to deliver an engaging drive.