Hyundai Kona N breaks cover ahead of UK launch

It may be a few months yet before it reaches UK showrooms in the spring, but Hyundai has given us a disguised glimpse of how its new Kona N will look. The latest teaser images of the souped-up compact crossover show what will be Hyundai’s first high-performance SUV.

And the South Korean carmaker has confirmed the Kona N — which follows the recently-introduced i20 N hot hatchback — will be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as found in the i30 N. It will also be exclusively available with the eight-speed dual clutch automatic recently introduced to the i30 N line-up. But there will be no six-speed manual gearbox, as is fitted to the hot hatchback.

Hyundai has yet to confirm performance figures for the Kona N. It is though likely to at least match the 247bhp produced by the same engine in the i30 N. Worth highlighting, the range-topping i30 N Performance pack lifts the engine’s output to 271bhp and 279lb ft of torque.

Anyway, back to the teaser pix. Like the rest of Hyundai’s N-branded performance pack, the Kona N — which will go head-to-head with the likes of the VW T-Roc R, Cupra Ateca and BMW X2 M35i — gets a redesigned grille, a more aggressive front bumper and pair of deeper side skirts.

The aggressive look is further accentuated at the rear where there’s a larger spoiler fitted with the company’s trademark triangular high-level brake light, plus a twin-exit exhaust system and a new diffuser. The hot compact crossover also boasts a a sportier suspension set-up, resulting in the car sitting lower to the ground than the standard model. To aid stopping power, there’s also a larger set of discs and uprated calipers tucked away behind the new alloys.

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As with other N models, the all-new Kona N will be equipped with a variety of high-performance driving features, including launch control and a limited-slip differential. Hyundai also lists an “emotional sound experience” which, essentially, will channel an enhanced engine note into the cabin. Sticky Pirelli tyres will also further boost performance and handling.

Inside the cabin, front occupants will be held snugly by a pair of figure-hugging sports seats, plus the driver will enjoy a new sports steering wheel and an aluminium pedal box.

“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,” Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, vice president of marketing and product at Hyundai Motor Europe, said. “The addition of Kona to the N family will bring our high-performance brand to the next level.”