Hyundai has sent out a preview and indeed the first official confirmation of the Kona N high-performance small SUV. An Australian market arrival has also been confirmed for later this year.
The Kona N has been spotted in prototype form on numerous occasions over the past year or so. However, Hyundai has remained tight-lipped about it so far. In other words, we all knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. Well, it’s almost here now and it will become the only high-performance SUV in its class.
In fact, its closest competitors are from the premium small SUV class. Models such as the BMW X2 M35i and Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 offer the closest on-paper specs. A point of difference though, the Kona N is likely to be more affordable than those. Speaking about the new model, Till Wartenberg, head of N Brand at Hyundai, said:
“As N brand’s first ‘hot SUV’, KONA N will offer plenty of versatility and driving thrills that N-thusiasts have come to expect from the brand. You can take this vehicle anywhere – from road to the track.”
The new model will feature a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, likely producing the updated 206kW output from the i30 N facelift. And it’s been confirmed the Kona N will come equipped with the company’s beaut new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Although it would be interesting to see this with all-wheel drive, the Kona N is set to be front-wheel drive only. However, launch control has been confirmed and there’s potential for a proper limited-slip differential like the i30 N to ensure optimum cornering grip and performance.
Hyundai says it will announce more details of the Kona N in the coming weeks. This will be one of eight new N or N Line models arriving on the market this year.