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Hyundai Previews Upcoming Kona N

Hyundai Kona N | Photo: Hyundai
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Daniel Rufiange
No word yet on the Kona N official reveal date, but it should happen before the end of 2021

We know that Hyundai is preparing a performance version of its Kona produced under the N banner, the automaker’s division devoted to such things. Yesterday, the Korean manufacturer gave us a glimpse of the upcoming Kona N with a few photos that actually provides a fairly complete picture, at least of the model’s exterior.

For a set of teaser images, it's a surprisingly revealing look that we got.

And so we learn that the model, shockingly, looks like... a Kona. That said, there are plenty of features to help distinguish it from the regular SUV. Up front, for example, the same grille and LED headlights are present, but so are unique red accents around the spoiler and side skirts. At the rear, the changes are still more noticeable, the designers having put in a large diffuser, two large exhaust tips and a red band that surrounds this section, as well as a triangle-shaped brake light at the top of the window.

The effect is very successful, frankly.

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Hyundai Kona N, rear
Hyundai Kona N, rear | Photo: Hyundai

Mechanically, Hyundai didn’t provide details this time around, but we do already know that a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, probably the same one used in the Veloster N, will be under the hood. In the case of that performance variant, the unit produces 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Drivetrain and transmission details remain a secret but the likelihood is of a 6-speed manual and 8-speed dual-clutch automatic both being offered. Expect as well suspension upgrades and probably Hyundai's electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential.

Although no official launch date has been given, the Kona N is expected to appear in the next few months. The model should then go on sale soon afterward.

Pricing and details for the Canadian market will also be announced in the coming months.

Hyundai Kona N, front grille
Hyundai Kona N, front grille | Photo: Hyundai
Hyundai Kona N, hatch
Hyundai Kona N, hatch | Photo: Hyundai
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists