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Hyundai's performance revolution: Sporty N Line versions confirmed for Sonata, Venue

Hyundai’s performance family continues to grow, with the brand announcing two new N Line models at the New York Motor Show.

The first cab off the go-fast rank will be the new Sonata, which will get a mysterious, and all-new, turbocharged engine producing more than 200kW, as well as sporty styling changes and a new suspension tune. The N Line will be based on the all-new Sonata, due in Australia in the second half of 2019, which was also revealed (albeit following an earlier South Korean unveiling) in the USA.

The eighth-generation of Hyundai’s mid-size flagship will arrive with a 2.5-litre petrol engine that produces 142kW and 251Nm, pairing with a six-speed automatic. The brand says the suspension set-up has been overhauled front and rear, too, in an attempt to lend a new sense of sporty rigidity to the Sonata.

The 2020 model arrives with some clear new tech features, most notably a function that it will make the traditional car key redundant. Instead, you can unlock the car and start it with your phone, and you can share that digital key with other drivers, like you children or friends.

Hyundai has confirmed the Digital Key tech will arrive in Australia, but is yet to confirm whether it will be the Sonata that debuts the technology here. Elsewhere, though, there's a 10.25-inch multimedia screen (that pairs with a Bose sound system) in the centre of the dash, and another 12.3-inch screen in the driver's binnacle that replaces the traditional dials.

But this Sonata is merely a taste-test for what’s to come, with executives confirming that a performance-focused N Line model, with a new turbocharged engine good for over 200kW, is on the way. Details remain thin on the ground for now, but Hyundai's North American executives have confirmed it's on its way, and the brand's local reps have promised an Australian launch. 

“We will introduce the next model in our N Line group; a high-performance turbocharged Sonata with over 275 horsepower,” says Hyundai’s North American COO, Brian Smith.

Happily, Hyundai also confirmed that the brand's new Venue - the sub-$20k SUV also unveiled in New York - is also due the N Line treatment, though wouldn't be drawn on whether that would mean an upgrade to that car's 1.6-litre petrol engine, or whether it would simply change the look and suspension of the brand's entry-level SUV.

The Hyundai Venue will be the brand's cheapest model in Australia. The Hyundai Venue will be the brand's cheapest model in Australia.

Speaking after the car’s unveiling, Smith confirmed a Venue N Line would be the next to appear as the performance focused spreads across the Hyundai line-up.

"N Line was just introduced in Detroit for us. The next one will be Sonata, but you’ll see more of it across the line-up," he says.

What do you think of Hyundai's new sporty focus? Tell us in the comments below.