The appearance can’t adumbrate the Sonata’s ample shape.
A few weeks ago, we took our aboriginal drive in the redesigned, US-spec 2020 Hyundai Sonata and, to no one’s surprise, it was rather good. However, the Sonata N-Line ancestor I acquisition myself aerodynamics today is a actual altered animal.
The buried ancestor apparent actuality wears N-Line badging on the grill, council caster and centermost animate trim, and sports bifold bankrupt tips out back. Designed to abstruse elements of the prototype’s design, this colorway ironically alone seemed to allure an afflictive bulk of absorption wherever I went. Thankfully, below the agitative anti-aesthetics, this N-Line archetypal additionally boasts a cogent achievement upgrade, including about 100 added pound-feet of torque than the 1.6-liter turbocharged models we’ve apprenticed previously.
The abject agent for this eighth-generation Sonata is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder agent that makes 191 appliance and 181 pound-feet of torque. The advancement from there is a hardly added adult 1.6-liter turbocharged bureaucracy that makes 180 hp and 195 lb-ft. (I know, it seems added like a crabbed move, but the 1.6T is declared to be a smoother, better-driving engine.)
Displacement and affected induction, the N-Line’s 2.5-liter turbocharged comminute combines the best of the two abject engines.
The N-Line model’s powerplant is array of the best of both worlds: a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that outputs an estimated 290 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, authoritative this the best able Sonata archetypal ever.
The 2.5T exhales through the above dual-exhaust system, which is louder than the 1.6-liter, but is quiet abundant to not be annoying or bombinate aback aloof canoeing around. On this aboriginal prototype, the bankrupt agenda isn’t absolutely finalized, so it could potentially change by the time the Sonata N-Line becomes accessible abutting year.
The sedan’s torque alcove the advanced auto via an eight-speed, bifold clamp manual — the aforementioned wet clamp transmission, I believe, that you’ll anon acquisition in the Veloster N, but with a hardly altered tune. The N-Line archetypal additionally assets a Sport Plus active approach with added advancing burke and about-face programming than the Sport approach on the Sonata 1.6T.
The Sonata N-Line pulls abroad off the band with a assured boost into the seat. The afar per hour accumulation up with decidedly added bite — but not abundant added ball — than with the abate turbo, with accouterment that are accursed off quickly, but with bland transitions amid gears. Overall, the auto scoots with a surefooted, exceptional feel. Again, manual affability isn’t absolutely accomplished — for example, the accessory captivation algorithm is still actuality tuned, so I noticed a bit of hunting amid sixth and seventh accessory aback canoeing in Sport Plus — but Hyundai’s engineers assured me that the kinks would be ironed out over the abutting few months.
The N-Line additionally boasts handing upgrades to acclaim the added power, starting with wider, 19-inch auto captivated in either Pirelli all-season tires or — as able — alternative Continental PremiumContact 6 summer elastic (sized 245/40R19). Hyundai’s engineers capital the bigger acquaintance patches so abominably that the Sonata N-Line’s abeyance ascendancy accoutrements acquire been tweaked to board the broader rolling stock.
Of course, there are the requisite stiffer springs and dampers, forth with stiffer abeyance and subframe bushings. The new accouterments lowers the N-Line’s ride acme by about 5 millimeters, which is basically ephemeral at curbside.
On the road, the Sonata N-Line’s ride feels a bit abutting — acutely added so than the accepted bureaucracy — but not rough, acrid or arrant over absurd highways. There’s a tad added alley noise, but all-embracing this still feels like a car that you could circadian drive or alike alley cruise in comfortably.
I’m told that N-Line will affection continued brakes, but the rotors able on this ancestor appears to be the aforementioned 12.8-inch stoppers as the Sonata SEL model. Endlessly achievement acquainted about the aforementioned as the non-N Sonata — accounting for the stickier rubber. I could be wrong, but conceivably this is addition one of those accouterments capacity that will change arch up to the assembly run.
These absolutely attending like the aforementioned 12.8-inch brakes as the SEL Plus model. Feel like ’em, too.
Driven aback to aback with the 1.6T SEL Exceptional model, I am afflicted by how agnate the N-Line feels to the added trim levels. This should be obvious, I apprehend you saying, but you’d be afraid how axle on an added hundo pound-feet can bewilder a car’s character, abnormally one with front-wheel drive, area all address of bad behaviors can crop up with a ham-fisted appliance of power. This doesn’t assume to be the case with the N-Line.
Acceleration, anchor and, conceivably to a bottom degree, endlessly ability acquire bigger in concert, befitting the antithesis intact. There’s no apparent torque beacon or caster hop during abounding burke launches and, while there’s acutely added anchor during cornering, the sedan’s council still feels airy and aloof about town. The ride isn’t obnoxiously acrid and the bankrupt is still adequately quiet at abstinent throttle. This still feels like a midsize auto — like a Sonata — but with a bit added hustle aback you charge it.
And yes, that agency this isn’t as hardcore a transformation as the Veloster N is about to its namesake, but that’s why there’s the “N-Line” designation. Does that beggarly there’s still allowance for a sharper, accurate Sonata N to arise bottomward the line? Maybe; it’s a safe bet that Hyundai is at the actual atomic cerebration about it.
You can’t see abundant detail below the appearance wrap, but the bifold bankrupt is an calmly arresting (and audible) upgrade.
The Sonata N-Line is still, as I mentioned, in development, and won’t hit the alley until backward 2020 with a 2021 archetypal year designation. A lot could change amid now and then, but this is a appealing abutting adumbrative of what to expect.
Another aspect that hasn’t been nailed bottomward is the price. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata will alpha at $23,400 for the abject SE, but the 1.6T comes online at the midrange $27,450 SEL Plus trim level. At the top of the accepted calendar is the $33,300 absolutely loaded Limited model. Will the N-Line’s sticker blooper amid the SEL Plus and Limited or amplitude to a new high? That’ll depend on what accepted appearance and amenities Hyundai bales with this new spec. Apprehend to apprentice added abutting year.
Editors’ note: Travel costs accompanying to this adventure were covered by the manufacturer, which is accepted in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s agents are our own and we do not acquire paid beat content.
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