Kia’s next-generation Optima (K5), as well as the 2020 Hyundai Sonata are both in line to receive electronically-controlled AWD systems. Apparently, the upcoming 5th-gen Optima will get the nod first, before year’s end, followed soon after by the latest Sonata.
The report comes courtesy of Korean outlet ETNEWS, stating that such an all-wheel drive system will feature an electronic coupling between the front and rear wheel axles in order to actively distribute forces based on various factors like acceleration, speed and so on.
Available modes are said to include Eco, for improved fuel economy, but also a Sports mode, which focuses on driving pleasure.
Right now, both automakers are rapidly expanding the application of all-wheel drive systems throughout their entire passenger car lineups. For example, Hyundai’s HTRAC system can be found in new models such as the Palisade or the Santa Fe, while Kia offers AWD for high-end products like the K9 or the Stinger GT, to go with its crossovers.
Now, despite the fact that the 2020 Sonata is riding on a new front-wheel drive platform, Hyundai product division director Jae Young Kim has gone on record saying that an all-wheel drive version aimed at the U.S. market could see the light of day.
“Yes… we are currently reviewing the need for all-wheel drive in [the U.S.] market,” he stated, when asked about it. “In the future, the SUVs will sit on this platform, so, of course, the platform does have that [AWD].”
Fitting both the Sonata as well as the next-gen Optima with an all-wheel drive system should prove beneficial in a market where some of their rivals are already offering such systems – take the new Nissan Altima for example, or the 2020 Subaru Legacy.