A Hyundai Sonata…with Sizzle?

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is currently on sale, and so far the reviews for the slick-styled mid-size sedan have been positive. Granted, the standard 2.4L four, rated at 198hp hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, but so far sales for the new Sonata appear to be strong. Hyundai is preparing to address the power situation with the Sonata 2.0T-a twin scroll turbocharged, direct injected engine rated at a staggering 274hp (folks, that’s 74 more horses than VW’s 2.0T) paired to a six-speed automatic. But wait, it gets even better-EPA mileage estimates are 22mpg city, and an incredible 34mpg highway…on regular gas.

Apart from the impressive drivetrain, the Sonata 2.0T will also offer exclusive features like 18″ alloy wheels, dual exhaust, panoramic sunroof and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

The Sonata 2.oT was unveiled at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and The Garage was present. Hyundai’s press conference was held at the end of the day. From my perspective, the Hyundai press conference drew one of the largest crowds that day, and, perhaps more importantly, the number of executives from the competition present here tell a story that Hyundai is indeed, being taken very seriously. The Sonata 2.0T was the only car released that day that drew gasps from the crowd-twice (once for 274hp from 2 liters, the second for achieving 34mpg highway on regular gas). The fact that the Sonata offers more power, more interior room, and better fuel economy than its V-6 competitors largely explains why Honda, Ford, and Toyota brass were standing at rapt attention, and likely lost a lot of sleep that night.

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