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AWD and 275 HP for the Hyundai Kona N

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The Hyundai Kona is the Hyundai brand’s most popular vehicle today. Which is not surprising, since it’s one of the hottest models on the market, period. It’s only natural then for the Korean to pull out all the stops to make it even more attractive to potential buyers who yet to take notice of it.

Late last year, Hyundai announced that its high-performance N Division would now include SUVs. Then, a few months later, the first spy shots of the Hyundai Kona N appeared. Rumours suggested that mechanically it would take advantage of the powertrain already in use in the Veloster N and i30 N. That would be a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine. The speculation has just been given a more solid spine by a report published on The Korean Car Blog website. From it we also learned a few new details about the coming Kona N.

Output is expected to be upwards of 275 hp, which corroborates previous reports that foretold a Kona N getting 271 hp. When it arrives, it will also be the division's first all-wheel-drive N model, with power sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. A 6-speed mechanical transmission will also be available.

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Visually, Hyundai will give the Kona N a streamlined look, a bit like the Veloster N. It's expected that the plastic appliqués that draped the vehicle all around will be eliminated. Also predicted are 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers, a unique grille, skid plates and two massive exhaust outlets. Spy shots are suggesting that the model will rest closer to the ground as a result of the slightly lowered suspension.

The Hyundai Kona N will probably make its debut this summer, possibly in July. However, the coronavirus pandemic will likely have something to say about that.

Note that the regular version of the Kona will also benefit from a mid-cycle refresh for 2021.

Photo: D.Heyman