More poke from the South Korean brand’s four-door is most welcome

The midsize Hyundai Sonata has been around since 1985, and the latest eighth generation is definitely the most exciting of the bunch. However, it looks like Hyundai will add even more heat to the four-door with a new N Line edition next year, as revealed during the 2020 Sonata’s debut at the New York Auto Show.

A Sonata We Want To Hear

Hit play on the above-featured video to watch the live stream of Hyundai’s press conference at the 2019 New York Auto Show, which includes the debut of the new eighth-generation Hyundai Sonata.

First impressions are quite positive. The new Sonata certainly looks much improved compared to the outgoing model, with streamlined styling and four-door coupe proportions that are lower and wider than before. We’re also digging those new headlight housings, which come with accented daytime running lights that run high into the hood line, while the wide taillight lines in the rear add extra visual width to the package.

Hyundai Has a Sonata N Line in the Works and It Will Have More than 275 Horsepower
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As a complement to the new styling, the 2020 Sonata also comes with a revised third-gen architecture under the skin. Engine options include a turbo 1.6-liter producing 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, as well as an upgraded turbo 2.5-liter making 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Hyundai Sonata drivetrain specifications
ype GDI DOHC 16-valve Inline 4-cylinder Turbo-GDI DOHC 16-valve Inline 4-cylinder
Materials Aluminum block and head Aluminum block and head
Bore & stroke (mm) 88.5 x 101.5 75.6 X 89
Compression ratio 13.0 : 1 10.5 : 1
Displacement 2.5 liters / 2,497 1.6 liters / 1,598 cc
Horsepower 191 @ 6100 rpm (est.) 180 @ 5500 rpm (est.)
Torque (lb-ft.) 181 @ 4000 rpm(est.) 195 @ 1500-4500 rpm (est.)
Transmission 8-speed Automatic 8-speed Automatic

Good stuff all around, but towards the end of the conference, Hyundai teased us with some rather exciting news - the development of a new Sonata N Line.

For those of you who may be unaware, the N Line is Hyundai’s “warmer” vehicle designation, offering a bit more performance than the standard model, but not the full-fat performance tune you get with vehicles like the Veloster N.

Autoblog spoke with Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainer about the upcoming Sonata N Line, and apparently, output will get a boost to “at least 275 horsepower.”

Hyundai Has a Sonata N Line in the Works and It Will Have More than 275 Horsepower Exterior High Resolution
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2019 Hyundai i30 N

For reference, the i30 N makes 271 horsepower thanks to a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while the Veloster N produces 275 horsepower from its 2.0-liter ‘four when equipped with the optional Performance package.

As for the oily bits in the Sonata N Line, we could see a tuned iteration of the sedan’s latest 2.5-liter recently introduced with the 2020 model year. The same turbo 2.0-liter in the i30 N and Veloster N could also make a reappearance under the hood of the go-faster midsize four-door.

The rest of the drivetrain should include front-wheel drive as standard, but rumor has it Hyundai is considering the addition of all-wheel drive to the options list. We’d also love to see a manual transmission added to the mix, but an eight-speed automatic is more likely.

As for the rest of the spec, we’re thinking bigger wheels, a few extra styling bits, a louder exhaust, and a sporty steering wheel, as well as a sharper suspension tune to boot.

Why It Matters

Hyundai Has a Sonata N Line in the Works and It Will Have More than 275 Horsepower
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All told, we’re definitely happy to hear about a possible hot-to-trot Sonata. Over the last decade or so, Hyundai has been very busy revamping its brand image, going from associations with rentals and fleets, to a genuinely desirable product line. Adding a sporty midsize sedan to the lineup is sure to catalyze that evolution even further.

After all, the old Sonata wasn’t necessarily the most exciting thing ever. While reliable and packed with value, it didn’t have much of a spark for us speed lovers. Packing in 275 ponies under the hood could very well change that.

Hyundai is also gearing up to release a hybrid powertrain for the Sonata, which should arrive in the spring of 2020. The Sonata N Line is expected to arrive shortly thereafter.

Hyundai Has a Sonata N Line in the Works and It Will Have More than 275 Horsepower
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Adding the option for more power and more efficiency is a surefire way to infuse the Sonata lineup with even more desirability. Paired with that tasty new exterior design, plus Hyundai’s reputation for reliability and value, and things are definitely looking up.

Further Reading

Hyundai Has a Sonata N Line in the Works and It Will Have More than 275 Horsepower
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The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Debuts With a Look That Proves It’s Stepped Into the Premium Segment

The All-New 2020 Hyundai Sonata Has a Striking Face and Upmarket Interior
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The All-New 2020 Hyundai Sonata Has a Striking Face and Upmarket Interior

2019 Hyundai Veloster N Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N.

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

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