Hyundai was behind two notable presentations at the 2019 New York Auto Show last week. First it rolled out the new eighth-generation Sonata sedan, and it followed that up with its brand-new small SUV, the Hyundai Venue, which will slot in to the brand’s lineup under the Kona.
Given the success of the Kona and of the small SUV category in general, this might be as close as you can get to a can’t-miss launch. Already, before it even debuts at dealers, Hyundai confirms it’s working on a performance version of the Venue, to be produced by the automaker’s N division.
The new was confirmed to Australian outlet Drive by Brian Smith, COO of Hyundai in North America.
As ever with Hyundai’s N products, it’s important to understand that the N Line, the first extra Venue variant to be produced, is mainly an esthetic package. So that while the Sonata N will benefit from a boosted powertrain, the Venue N Line will retain its base engine under a spiffed-up exterior. It will, however, get upgraded brakes and more-aggressive configurations for its chassis.
Recall that Hyundai actually produces two different N products: the N Line with its esthetic modifications, and the N variants, with improved performance capabilities.
We’ve seen Hyundai produce the GT N Line version of its Elantra in the U.S., which it unveiled in Detroit earlier this year. The model replaces the GT Sport version, and it’s actually the North American equivalent to the i30 N Line sold elsewhere in the world – and which also gets by without any performance enhancements.
In the case of the Venue, the N Line package will be the first to see the light of day. The company however is not shutting the door on the possibility of producing an N performance variant.
We can expect to see a number of N and N Line versions launched by Hyundai. As we mentioned, in the case of the former the appeal will be more muscular driving dynamics, while the latter will seek to seduce lovers of attention-grabbing visual elements.