Hyundai has expanded its performance N range to now include a small hot SUV.
The new Kona N becomes the fifth car to wear the N badge and arrives to take on the Ford Puma ST and Audi SQ2. It comes as Hyundai announces it’s expanding its N and N Line range to 18 models by 2022, and is exploring pure-electric and hydrogen applications for future N models.
The Kona N packs a 276bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with power going to the front wheels through a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The ‘box has three ‘high performance’ modes, called N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift, and electronic limited slip differential and launch control complete the package.
The Kona N gets a dramatic makeover for the bodywork with different front and rear bumpers, large exhausts and 19-inch alloy wheels. A rear spoiler also features and includes a triangular brake light as used on the i30 N, while the colour options include ‘Sonic Blue’ – a unique shade for N models.
Inside, the steering wheel gets a red start-stop button and driving mode buttons painted in Sonic Blue, while the 10-inch infotainment system has been modified to feature performance information and displays.
Looking to the future, Hyundai says its new E-GMP platform, as used on the new pure-electric Ioniq 5, offers ‘tremendous flexibility and possibilities’.
‘The future will be electric, maybe even hydrogen-powered, or even a combination of both, but N brand will always be focused on delivering driving fun – no matter what technology is under the hood,’ said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of customer experience division at Hyundai Motor Company.
‘N brand will always be fuelled by the emotions drivers experience on the road or racetrack and will set a new standard for an N-thusiastic electric driving experience.’
Prices for the Kona N will be officially released at a later date but a starting price of around £33,000 is likely.
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