A prototype was spotted with documents that indicate “AWD”.
The Sonata’s non-identical twin, the Kia K5, has offered AWD for a few years.
The Sonata was instrumental in transforming Hyundai into the company it is today. Launched just shy of 30 years ago, the Stellar/Sonata quickly morphed into a popular well-regarded, and affordable sedan. Every generation brought a slew of new customers but growth nearly halted with the current generation car.
A number of reasons can explain why the 8th generation Sonata, introduced for the 2020 model year, has not garnered as much success. One might be styling. Hyundai has a habit of reinventing its design language every few years and according to various sources, consumers are not enamoured with the car’s “sensuous sportiness” design language. Another could be the lack of an AWD drivetrain. Save for the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata is the only other remaining sedan that does not offer it.
It looks as though that might change. Recent spy shots shared by CarExpert show a camouflaged Sonata with a tag in its windshield that states, in Korean: “proto”, “Theta”, “2.5 GDI” and “AWD”.
At this point, it’s impossible to say if, like the K5 in Canada, all Sonata versions will be fitted with AWD. Here, the base Sonata engine is the 2.5L GDI while the turbocharged 1.6L engine is standard with the K5 and includes AWD. Might the 2.5L replace the 1.6L? Tough to say. Finally, what about the N-Line? Will it get AWD? Let’s not forget that the K5 GT with the 2.5 turbo engine and the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is FWD only.