2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line debuts with mild styling tweaks

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line is ready to join the Korean carmaker's performance lineup. Last April, Hyundai unveiled the Veloster N with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the Elantra N Line appeared last July and will arrive at dealerships near the end of 2020. Hyundai is also prepping up N-Line versions of the Kona, Santa Fe, and all-new Tucson, but the Sonata is the latest Hyundai vehicle to debut with an N badge.

"The 2021 Sonata N Line will attract more customers to both the rock-solid Sonata lineup and our increasingly popular N Line sub-brand. Sonata N Line will appeal to customers who desire sporty styling in a sedan package," said SangYup Lee, Head of the Hyundai Global Design Center.

The new Sonata N Line starts with the eight-gen model which debuted last March. Thankfully, Hyundai resisted the urge to festoon the Sonata's 'Sensuous Sportiness' body panels with some wild-looking body kits, and instead went for subtlety rather than braggadocio. The front has three air intakes and a large cascading grille, while the side profile has tasteful side skirts and some funky 19-inch alloy wheels.

At the rear, the Sonata N Line has uniquely-shaped quad exhaust tips, a black lower bumper, and an N Line rear diffuser. It's as clean as a sporty car can get, and we like it a lot. The interior is equally sporty with standard sport seats, dark chrome trim, and red stitching. Luxury features include LED headlights, power front seats with memory functions, a ventilated driver's seat, and a spanking Bose audio system.

Hyundai didn't mention anything about the powertrain, but we're pining for a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor with 290 to 320 horsepower and around 310 pound-feet of torque. The engine will most likely pair with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the latter of which is also found in the 2021 Veloster N. The Sonata N Line also benefits from a lowered ride height, performance dampers, and stiffer anti-roll bars to improve handling.

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line was supposed to go on sale later this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans. We're still expecting the first units to arrive in late 2020 or early 2021, although Hyundai has yet to confirm if the original launch date will push through. Pricing and other specifics will follow at a later date.