The next-generation Hyundai Sonata sedan is still on track to arrive in Australia before the end of the year, but the range will be slimmer than originally planned.
Contrary to previous announcements, Hyundai Australia has confirmed with CarExpert the standard Sonata will no longer form part of the local line-up, leaving just the top-spec turbocharged Sonata N Line for 2021.
Originally scheduled for a late-2019 introduction, the non-performance Sonata was set to offer a base 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol and 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines, both equipped with Hyundai’s latest ‘Smartstream’ efficient technologies.
The Sonata Hybrid was never officially confirmed for the Australian market, rather “under review” since the global announcement, but it now appears there’s little to no chance of that variant heading here either.
Now, the Sonata nameplate will continue from very late in 2020 with the arrival of the all-new Sonata N Line set to go head-to-head with medium and large sedans like the Mazda 6, Skoda Superb and Toyota Camry.
Australian pricing and specifications are still to be announced, but we know the Sonata N Line will be powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine developing around 213kW and 422Nm, sent to the front axle via an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch automatic transmission.
While not an all-out N Performance model, the Sonata N Line is still one of the most powerful vehicles in its class, offering competitive outputs compared to the 170kW/420Nm Mazda 6 Turbo, the 206kW/350Nm Skoda Superb 206TSI Sportline, as well as the 224kW/362Nm Toyota Camry V6.
Hyundai is yet to disclose performance figures for its turbocharged sedan flagship, but we expect the Sonata N Line will be capable of hitting 100km/h from standstill in around 6.0 seconds.
Beyond the sporty drivetrain, the Sonata N Line picks up a number of model-specific appointments like dark chrome trim, contrasting red stitching throughout the cabin, N Line insignia and leather/suede sports seats.
It also gets a subtle exterior body kit and gloss black accents to distinguish it from non-N Line models – not that you’ll need to in Australia because it will be the sole offering.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for more Sonata updates in the coming weeks, and let us know your thoughts on Hyundai’s decision to cull the non-performance models in the comments below.