Hyundai Kona SUV to get high performance N variant soon

Hyundai Kona SUV to get high performance N variant soon”

Hyundai has revealed new technical information on its Kona N, a fast variant of its compact SUV that will rival the Ford Puma ST and VW T-Roc R. When it goes on sale in early summer this year it'll join the refreshed i30 N and new i20 N in Hyundai's performance line-up, expanding the N range into a new sector and bumping up awareness of the sub-brand both here and overseas. "The addition of Kona to the N family will bring our high-performance brand to the next level".

The Kona N will find its technical basis in the i30 N's 2-litre Theta engine, which will produce the same 278bhp as in the now updated hatchback. At launch, it will join the i30 N, i20 N and Veloster N as the most hardcore models Hyundai has to offer.

It'll put around 206kW and 392Nm through the front wheels and that is a lot for a small SUV. Performance tweaks include launch control and a limited-slip differential.

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There's not a whole lot we can discern from photos from the prototype, except that it'll pack large wheels rolling in Pirelli performance rubber. Hyundai furthermore promises an "emotional" soundtrack from the sports exhaust system.

For the upcoming model year, the speed freaks who built this machine will be lending their talents to another vehicle in Hyundai's line - the Kona.

Till Wartenberg, vice-president and head of N brand management and the motorsport sub-division at Hyundai Motor Company, described the new Kona N as the "first hot SUV from the N brand". Also unconfirmed is whether the Kona N will be FWD or AWD, though perhaps clues to its AWD underpinnings lie in the decision to offer AWD only and in the teaser, where we see the Kona N being driven hard on a dirt track, and further in the way it squats under acceleration, as well as the way the car's attitude on corner entry.

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