Hyundai’s N performance sub-brand will drop the Veloster’s drivetrain into the pint-sized Kona.
It was bound to happen. With Hyundai’s Kona selling 10 times the number of Velosters last year, the Korean company is giving the little crossover its own N treatment. Not just an N Line model either, but the full-fat N, making it the first performance crossover for the brand.
Hyundai released initial details and images of the prototype Kona N late Monday. The N will adopt many of the styling updates found on the rest of the 2022 Kona lineup, but with an added level of aggression suitable to the badge on the back. We’re talking big wheels, big spoiler, and big exhaust tips, but more important is what’s happening under the skin.
Hyundai has confirmed the Kona N will feature the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and eight-speed dual-clutch transmission found in the Veloster N. There, the combo produces 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. It also produces the sort of sound hot hatch buyers love. The six-speed manual available in the Veloster N—as well as the upcoming Elantra N—will not be offered.
SEE ALSO: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Review: First Drive
It isn’t clear if the Kona N will follow its siblings in going front-drive only, however. Hyundai wouldn’t say one way or the other. Of note, the Kia K5—also under the Hyundai Group umbrella—offers a high-performance GT model only in front-drive form, while lower-powered trims offer AWD.
Like the Veloster N, the Kona N will offer drivers multiple drive modes, as well as launch control. The crossover is similar to the existing hatchback in length and width, but packs an extra 6.7 inches (170 mm) in height. It’s also heavier.
North American sales of the Kona N are not yet confirmed, but we’ll have more details from Hyundai on this little performance crossover in the coming weeks.
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