Hyundai brought its Sonata mid-size sedan some welcome excitement with the announcement in September of a racier variant called the N Line. Now we have the details both on performance and price: The 2021 Sonata N Line packs a 290-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter engine under its hood and starts at $34,195 (with destination), slightly less than the line-topping Sonata Limited.
We already knew about the more aggressive grille, three air intakes, more sculpted side skirts, 19-inch alloy wheels, sleeker black lower bumper and N Line rear diffuser, but the engine details reveal Hyundai’s changes beneath the hood for the Sonata’s almost-performance variant. The N Line’s new Smartstream turbo four-cylinder engine generates 311 pounds-feet of torque in addition to its 290 hp. It’s also mated to a new wet dual-clutch automatic transmission, which Hyundai says is akin to that found in the highest-performance 2021 Veloster N. (The Veloster remains Hyundai’s only true N car, not the milder N Line variant, available in the U.S. for now.) Acceleration is further enhanced by N Power Shift, which kicks in at 90% of throttle demand and mitigates torque reduction via upshifts to deliver maximum power, Hyundai says.
The engine replaces the outgoing (2019) Sonata’s most powerful engine, a 245-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It also expands the horsepower range of the redesigned Sonata lineup considerably: Already available are a base 191-hp 2.5-liter; optional 180-hp, turbo 1.6-liter; and a 192-hp 2.0-liter hybrid drivetrain found on the Sonata Hybrid.
The Sonata N Line’s interior also gets some sportier changes with dark-chrome trim, leather-and-cloth sport seats, red N Line stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A 12.3-inch instrument panel and 10.25-inch multimedia screen, wireless device charging, proximity keyless entry, second-row air vents and LED interior lighting are standard. For $200 extra, Hyundai will throw on a set of high-performance summer tires. The automaker also said its app-based Hyundai Digital Key is optional, but pricing wasn’t disclosed.
The 2021 Sonata N Line will arrive at most dealerships by the end of November.
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