Hyundai Sonata N Rumored for 2020

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

In April, Hyundai confirmed it would introduce a performance-oriented Sonata sometime in 2020. The model was supposed to yield over 275 horsepower, leaving many wondering if it would hail from the brand’s N Division. Hyundai later said it would actually be supplying an N-Line car, placing it a step below the fully fledged N. But this turned out to be good news — because it leaves room for a more powerful Sonata in the lineup.

While the vehicle’s existence is still speculative, albeit probable, Korean Car Blog reports that a midsize N is actually in development. It claims the Sonata N will be be released next fall, with the N-Line debuting at this year’s LA Auto Show.

According to leaks intercepted by KCB, the Sonata N will apparently utilize a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder and a wet dual-clutch transmission with eight speeds. Based on the information provided, output should be in the ballpark of 300 horsepower and 311 ft-lb of torque.

From the Korean Car Blog:

The specification of the Sonata N’s 2.5 T-GDi engine will be similar to the SmartStream G2.5 FR T-GDi engine, which was recently unveiled at the 2019 Hyundai Kia Motors Powertrain Conference.

It has a maximum output of 304 horsepower [sic] and a maximum torque of 43.0kgm, and uses dual injection that uses both port injection and direct injection.

In particular, the company focused on thermal management compared to existing turbo engines by applying an electric CVVT system, a continuously variable oil pump, and a water-cooled intercooler.

The spec sheet actually had it at 304 PS (not horsepower), but it doesn’t make much difference in this instance, especially since Hyundai hasn’t confirmed anything. It also creates a bit of confusion due to earlier (conflicting) rumors suggesting the N-Line Sonata might also make of use a turbocharged 2.5-liter motor. Since the automaker never officially clarified which performance sedan it was talking about, it may have been hinting at the existence of a full-blown N the whole time.

Base models are slated to get a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter making 191 hp and 181 foot-pounds, with an optional turbocharged 1.6-liter four (180 horsepower, 195 pound-feet) for uplevel trims.

We figured N-Line Sonatas would only make a bit more power, choosing instead to place greater emphasis on handling, but Hyundai engineers have been pretty explicit that the vehicle’s goal was 275 hp. Considering there’s already a model with exactly that much oomph (the Veloster N with Performance Pack), maybe Hyundai will slot in its 2.0-liter turbo. But now we’re just guessing.

Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long before this all comes together. The 2020 Sonata N-Line is rumored to debut in Los Angeles later this month. Assuming KBC is right about the N, expect to see it Q3 of next year.

[Images: Hyundai]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
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