Hyundai Kona N hot SUV teased with 184kW

The reveal of the new 2021 Hyundai Kona N is just around the corner, and Hyundai has revealed a new set of teaser images for its upcoming compact performance SUV ahead of its debut in spring.

The new rival for everything from the Volkswagen T-Roc R, Audi SQ2 and BMW X2 M35i, to the new Ford Puma ST, will be on sale mid-2021. The Kona N project was first scooped by back in May 2018, but this is our first proper glimpse at the sporty i20 N and i30 N makeover that has been applied to the newcomer.

Like all of Hyundai’s N-branded performance models, this hot crossover gets a more aggressive front bumper, a redesigned grille with three air intakes sitting above, and a new pair of side skirts, all of which are integrated into the Kona’s latest look, introduced with a facelift in late 2020.

At the rear, there’s a larger diffuser which is home to a purposeful-looking twin-exit exhaust system. A large spoiler, fitted with the company’s trademark triangular high-level brake light, finds its way onto the hatch lid, while red pinstriping is applied around the car’s lower edges.

The entire car also sits lower to the ground than the standard model thanks to a sportier suspension set-up and, behind the new alloy wheels, there’s a larger set of discs and uprated calipers.

A limited-slip differential, launch control and a set of sticky Pirelli tyres will all feature. Meanwhile, inside, buyers should get a similar level of equipment to the i30 N, with a pair of figure-hugging sports seats, a new sports steering wheel and an aluminium pedal box.

Hyundai has confirmed that the Kona N will be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the i30 N. There’s also confirmation that the Kona will be exclusively available with the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox recently introduced to the i30 N line-up; the hot hatchback’s six-speed manual transmission won’t be offered.

Performance figures have yet to be released but, as it shares the same engine as the i30 N, the Kona N should have at least 184kW as standard. However, there’s scope for even more grunt, because Hyundai’s range-topping i30 N Performance pack increases the engine’s output to 202kW and 378Nm.

The Kona N will join an expanded line-up of performance models from Hyundai’s hot offshoot, with the new i20 N hot hatchback also arriving soon.

James Brodie

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