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Look out, Kia Stinger! 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line detailed: Sporty new sedan variant to go it alone in Australia

The all-new Hyundai Sonata N Line will be the only model offered in the new-gen mid-size sedan range in Australia.

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line has been revealed, with the new sedan offering big performance and eye-catching looks - and you'll only be able to spot these versions in Australia if you're looking for new-generation Sonatas.

It’s the first time Hyundai has offered a Sonata N Line model, with the previous model coming in only two trims - Active and Premium - the latter of which had a feisty turbo engine but no other performance enhancing features. Now, though, Hyundai wants to push the Sonata into that sporty sphere with a bit more intent, dropping the fleet special base models in favour of just the N Line model, which is expected here in December 2020.

The all-new 2021 Sonata N Line is a considerably more intentful performance sedan than the previous turbo Premium model, though. 

Under the bonnet, for instance, is a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a stonking 213kW of power and 422Nm of torque - up significantly on the previous Sonata turbo model’s 2.0-litre, which had 180kW and 353Nm.

The Sonata N Line’s outputs in fact put it above and beyond the current four-cylinder Kia Stinger, which runs a 2.0-litre turbo base model with 182kW/353Nm. But, as you might know, the Stinger is rear-wheel drive (RWD), while the Sonata is front-wheel drive (FWD or 2WD) only.

The Sonata N Line brings a new wet-clutch eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which Hyundai says “will start appearing in product lines throughout the Hyundai family - most notably, the i30 N DCT launching in early 2021”.

Further, the new Sonata N Line will not get a local steering and suspension tune to meet Australian buyers’ expectations - instead, Hyundai Australia says the new model will adopt the global tune that has met the company’s “rigorous” requirements for local tuning. Or, read differently, the company didn't want to spend the money because it doesn't expect to sell too many Sonatas here this time around.

It's a fair assumption, with mid-sized and large family sedans falling in popularity and relevance in the wake of the SUV boom. The only model selling in any reasonable numbers in the mainstream part of this segment is the Toyota Camry, which accounts for about 70 per cent share in the market.

  • The all-new 2021 Sonata N Line is a considerably more intentful performance sedan than the previous turbo Premium model. The all-new 2021 Sonata N Line is a considerably more intentful performance sedan than the previous turbo Premium model.
  • The Sonata N Line wears 19-inch alloy wheels. The Sonata N Line wears 19-inch alloy wheels.
  • At the rear sit quad exhaust tips. At the rear sit quad exhaust tips.
  • Inside is a 10.25-inch touchscreen for media and sat nav. Inside is a 10.25-inch touchscreen for media and sat nav.
  • The 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder produces 216kW/422Nm. The 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder produces 216kW/422Nm.

But there is no sporty Camry model, so the Sonata might rightly grab some attention for being an intriguing model in the mix. It even has Normal, Sport, Sport +, and Custom driving modes, which recalibrate the instrument cluster, steering weight and transmission logic - there is no adaptive suspension, however.

It also has quite a spec story to tell. Pricing is not yet available, but the brand has confirmed the Sonata N Line will be offered standard with twin digital screens up front - a 10.25-inch touchscreen for media and navigation (plus dual Bluetooth capability, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more), and a 12.3-inch screen for the driver. The stereo is a 12-speaker Bose sound system, and there's wireless phone charging, too.

Also standard is push-button start with keyless proximity unlocking, remote engine start, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, and an advanced safety technology pack comprising auto emergency braking (AEB) with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping technology, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and parking sensors and reversing camera.

Stay tuned for full pricing and specs details, which are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.