If what you were thinking was 'I really would like a nice compact crossover, but equally wish it could have the performance and noise of a Group N rally car...' then your wishes are Hyundai's command. Meet the Hyundai Kona N.
A new hot crossover
Well, we say meet, but the Kona N isn't quite ready for the debutante ball (or whatever the high-performance crossover equivalent might be) just yet. The Kona N is still wrapped in camouflage tape, but it is limbering up to be a major rival to the likes of the Ford Puma ST and the Volkswagen T-Roc R.
"We're excited to expand the recipe for success we've developed with the i30 N and, most recently, with the i20 N to one of our most popular SUVs on the market today: Kona," says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President of Marketing & Product at Hyundai Motor Europe. "The addition of Kona to the N family will bring our high-performance brand to the next level."
Engines shared with i30 N
We don't have performance nor power figures for the Kona N just yet, but we do know that its 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine is related to that used in the i30 N (and that goes all the way to 275hp) so we're going to peg our prediction as 'not slow.' Whatever power and torque it has will be guided to the front wheels via an eight-speed 'wet clutch' DCT dual-clutch gearbox. Hyundai says that it will feature both launch control and "an emotional sound experience."
Much more to come...
"The all-new Kona N is the first 'hot SUV' from the N brand," says Till Wartenberg, Vice President and Head of N Brand Management and Motorsport Sub-division at Hyundai Motor Company. "As a 'hot SUV', it will have plenty of versatility as well as the driving pleasure like any other N vehicle. Enthusiasts will enjoy taking this car anywhere; from road to the track."
It's not the only new N model coming from Hyundai in 2021. There's a facelifted version of the i30 N coming soon, as well as an all-new i20 N to take on the Ford Fiesta ST. And rumours of a hot new Tucson N aren't going away...