Hyundai Kona N revealed
The Hyundai Kona N is the Korean brand’s first ever performance SUV
The Kona is Hyundai's B-segment compact SUV and the latest addition to the brand's N division of performance cars. It is powered by a 2-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine which produces 276bhp and 391Nm torque, promises 0-100kmph in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed of 240kmph. With the introduction of the Kona N, Hyundai has also given away their plans to introduce 18 new models to the N and N Line variants by 2022. Future N models will also include battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Hyundai Kona N design
Following in the steps of other N models, the Kona N gets more aggressive styling to make it look sportier; up front it has a large grille with N badging, a front lip spoiler and functional air intakes on the sides of the bumper. At the rear, the Kona N has twin exhaust pipes, a diffuser and a double-wing roof spoiler which houses the third triangular brake light, a signature of the N models. A wider track is provided by 19-inch forged alloy wheels and it gets the N division’s famed red accent treatment to differentiate it from other variants.
The Kona N also features a blackened roof to make it look sportier and it gets an exclusive Sonic Blue paint option.
Hyundai Kona N Interior
The sportier treatment continues on the inside where the Kona N gets Alcantara upholstery. The N-exclusive sport steering wheel houses a couple of blue configurable buttons that allow for easy access to the performance presets and the bright red N Grin Control System button allows to change the drive modes namely — Eco, Normal, Sport and N. The Kona N gets a visor-style heads-up display, a digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment screen that displays on demand the Performance Driving Data System which monitors the driving style. The screen also displays an array of performance data such as turbo boost, horsepower and torque figures.
Furthermore there are blue accents and N logos present on the seats, steering wheel, gear shift knob and the handbrake. The Kona N also gets metal pedals and an option of cloth, leather and suede seats.
Hyundai Kona N engine and tech
The Kona N is powered by a 2-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that is shared with the i30N and Veloster N. It produces 276bhp and 391Nm torque and sends power to the front wheels via Hyundai's eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. With launch control, the Kona N does 0-100kmph in 5.5 seconds. The Kona N gets an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential which helps to put power to the ground more effectively.
The Kona N comes equipped with clever features, the dual-clutch transmission in the Kona N has been equipped with N Shift modes with an aim to improve performance on the road and track. The N Grin Shift mode increases output to 286bhp for 20 seconds and the N Power Shift mode engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 per cent of throttle and mitigates any reduction in torque while upshifting.
Hyundai hasn't mentioned if the Kona N will come with a manual transmission or AWD, which is available on the standard Kona models. On the safety front, the Kona N gets features like Lane Keep Assist, Blind-Spot Assist, Forward Collision Assist and High Beam Assist.
The Hyundai Kona N is aimed at people who want the driving fun of a Hyundai N model with the comfort and convenience of an SUV. Albert Biermann, head, research and development, Hyundai Motor Group, said, "The Kona N is a true hot SUV with the performance level of a hot hatch. It breaks the rule that SUVs are less fun to drive. As an N model, it goes beyond the limits of an ordinary SUV, it can carve corners on the racetrack and bring excitement to everyday driving."
Hyundai is reportedly going to bring the N performance models to India by mid-2021, their first car to bear the N badge on Indian soil is set to be the i20 N-line. It remains to be seen if the brand will bring the Kona N to our SUV hungry market.