Spy shots

Forthcoming Hyundai Kona N to expand N range

A hot version of Hyundai’s small SUV will join the i30 N and incoming i20 N supermini in N range

The Hyundai Kona, a small, odd-looking SUV offered in combustion and electric flavours, looks to be gearing up for its own N transformation. Spied lapping the Nürburgring with a range of tell-tale features poking out of its substantive camouflage, the new Kona N will join a quickly growing sect of compact performance SUVs that aim to combine hot hatchback thrills with a slightly more practical body. 

Technical details remain thin, but we can see two key elements of the prototype that suggest the Kona N will be more than just a styling exercise, beginning with a large set of exhaust outlets poking out from underneath the covered valance.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Like the i30 N, the exhaust layout looks to be bespoke to the N model, with conventional Konas only offering a single outlet to one side. The powertrain it’s connected to is only speculative at this point, but the Kona’s shared underpinnings with the i30 N would suggest that car’s 2-litre ‘theta’ turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine could be in play, one that tops out at 271bhp in the current flagship i30 N model. 

The i30 N itself is due for a major update later this year (the lesser i30 N-Line facelift has already been revealed) which could bring with it a slight increase in power, but we do know with certainty a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered, joining the six-speed manual. We suspect this combination of powertrain and drivetrain to also find a home here. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

As for the chassis, the Kona N’s larger wheel and tyre package seen here appears to be the same wheel design as found on the American-market Veloster N, suggesting a similar 19-inch wheel size to the current i30 N, while the brakes and adaptive dampers behind should also be shared. 

The new Kona N should also coincide with a wider update for the Kona range, one that will integrate the sharp and aggressive design language that’s rapidly being applied to other new Hyundai models. Look closely and you’ll spot elements like the angular mesh pattern and sharp new LED lighting signatures hiding beneath the camouflage as evidence for this.  

Expected timing of the new Kona N remains unknown, especially considering our current state of affairs, but it’s definitely on its way, rivalling the Volkswagen T-Roc R, Cupra Formentor and incoming Ford Puma ST along the way.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/202640/bmw-m4-competition-vs-mercedes-amg-c63-s-coupe-german-coupe-twin-test
Features

BMW M4 Competition vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe - German coupe twin test

The F82 BMW M4 is about to be put out to pasture, so does AMG’s recently fettled C63 S Coupe finally have its number?
18 May 2020
Visit/jaguar/202404/jaguar-project-8-evo-reader-experience
Advertisement Feature

Jaguar Project 8 evo reader experience

The Jaguar Project 8 is a 200mph marvel of engineering designed with one purpose in mind: to deliver the thrill of driving. We put some lucky evo read…
14 Apr 2020
Visit/features/18127/the-best-six-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best six-cylinder engines ever – we pick our favourites

Six-cylinder engines can be found in cars of all kinds, good and bad. We collate the very best
13 May 2020
Visit/porsche/911/202636/porsche-911-carrera-to-be-turbo-only-as-manuals-stay
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera to be turbo only, as manuals stay

Porsche confirms the 911 Carrera won’t be available with a naturally aspirated engine again, but manuals stay. For now
17 May 2020